May 14, 2024 2 min read

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Canadian Lawmaker Puts Forward a Plan to Restrict Sports Betting Ads

Market forces have tamed the appetite for sports betting spending in the United States, but Canada may need to use legal levers to reign sports betting ads in instead

As market spending from companies on betting ads decreases noticeably in the United States, Canada has been riding the tide of gambling advertisements. Now, a Prince Edward Island senator wants to change this, with Percy Downe insisting that ads related to sports gambling sites and mobile apps should face tougher restrictions.

Gambling Ads Need to Be Reined In

His idea is not exactly novel, as it has been floated and executed overseas in European markets such as the Netherlands, and even the United Kingdom. Yet, the fairly new realities of regulated gambling in Canada mean that the industry is grappling with these issues for the first time on this side of the pond. One of the outstanding issues has to do with the fact that Ontario sports betting ads are often broadcast internationally.

Commenting for Island Morning, Downe argued that while many players just found these ads annoying and were able to dismiss them, there were people who were suffering because those materials fed their addiction.

“My particular concern is the impact on young people. These ads feature a lot of sports heroes, a lot of celebrities. Young people may be aspiring for that lifestyle, thinking, ‘Oh, I can make some easy money,” Downe noted. He has a point in addressing both the availability of the ads as well as the way they advertise.

For example, are they trying to convince viewers that single-event sports betting could be a shortcut to riches? Are they addicted to vulnerable and younger players, and are there too many of them?

Lessening Societal Ills Through Impactful Legislation

His comments are part of an ongoing level backed by other fellow lawmakers, including Sen. Marty Deacon, whose Bill S-269 is trying to limit gambling ads in a meaningful and tested way, such as restricting the use of popular personalities and blocking ads during broadcasts.

Bill S-269 is gathering momentum with a third reading due in the Senate before it is circulated to the House of Commons for another opinion. Downe said that he felt that there was a significant omission in the responsibilities that were promised to be taken up by the government in ensuring that gambling addiction is actively fought back against through prevention and treatment.

Downe is convinced that pushing forward with a sports betting ads bill companies will be more honest, and societal ills will be lessened.

Journalist

Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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