June 6, 2023 3 min read


Expert Calls for Scrutiny of Gambling and Betting Ads in Canada

Amid the ongoing expansion of sports wagering in North America, an expert voices support for the scrutiny of the advertising of gambling and betting activities in Canada

In half a decade, the sports betting market in North America has seen exponential growth. In the US the repeal of PASPA contributed toward the statewide expansion of the activity that is now available to millions of Americans within more than 30 different states. Similarly, in neighboring Canada, Ontario introduced legal online sports betting last year in April. The market was immediately identified as one of the most lucrative jurisdictions for North America. But while wagering attracts more bettors, fears about gambling harm continue to rise.

Recently, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Ontario division called for the implementation of tough rules for online gambling advertising in an effort to protect consumers from excessive gambling. The proposal came after earlier this year, the province’s regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), proposed changes in the regulations. Those call for the prohibition of celebrities or athletes from participating in advertisements of gambling products. Yet, the proposal wouldn’t completely restrict gambling ads.

Now, Luke Clark, the director of the University of British Columbia’s center for gambling research, who was recently interviewed by the VancouverSun, warned that the popularity of sports betting can capture the attention of young adults or even children, resulting in harm and addiction. Speaking about the correlation between gambling behavior and gambling advertising, the director urged for “very close scrutiny” of gambling ads.

Betting Can Be as Addictive as Other Forms of Gambling

According to Clark, it is paramount for proper data to be delivered and analyzed to determine the “uptake of sports betting products in particular and their impact on the rates of gambling problems.” He acknowledged that sports wagering has seen exponential growth recently.

At the same time, Clark warned that people can get addicted to wagering the same way they get addicted to other forms of gambling. The expert also spoke about other problems people addicted to gambling can face such as depression, bankruptcy or even suicide.

Sports betting can become addictive in the same way that many forms of gambling can become addictive.

Luke Clark, director of the center for gambling research with the University of British Columbia

The warning comes at a time when the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is actively trying to engage with new audiences, primarily from a younger demographic. In that line of thought, the CEO of Crown Corporation BCLC, Pat Davis, explained that the BCLC isn’t trying to reach anyone under the legal age.

Instead, he pointed out that the Corporation is trying to tap into audiences that are “sort of in their 30s” as opposed to the usual demographic which is aged 50 and above. Still, Davis admitted that there is currently a “flood” of gambling advertising and that some of those do not adhere to the established regulatory framework.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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