May 26, 2023 3 min read


Hockey Legend Warns about Dangers of Sports Gambling Ads

Children as young as eight may be fighting gambling addiction or problem gambling behavior, argues Karl Subban, a prominent Canadian hockey player

Subban spoke with CTV National News and offered his insight into the matter, sharing his worry that gambling may be too pervasive and it may be affecting children in a bad way. Subban called attention to the fact that young adults under the age of 25 were more susceptible to becoming unhealthily involved with sports betting and gambling in general.

The proliferation of gambling advertising on TV has not helped. He criticized the fact that TV programs have been inundated with promotions calling consumers to participate in betting. There has been an established link between the fact that ads prompt people to bet more often and sometimes unhealthily, too, and between younger bettors and their tendency to develop more serious conditions with gambling.

As such, Subban’s critique of the current state of gambling advertisements is not based on personal bias, but on scientific evidence. Broadcasters are happy to jump at the opportunity too, says the hockey player, with TSN and Rogers’ Sportsnet both working hard on betting content as consumers are interested in it.

The arrival of regulated private and mobile betting in 2022 has definitely helped solidify how easy it is to place a bet, and it has made it possible for companies to promote their products openly. Things, though, do not exist in a vacuum and the provincial regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), has already acknowledged that sports betting advertising is not necessarily going in the best way possible, with certain adjustments necessary along the way.

AGCO Set to Look into Matter of Gambling Advertisement

The AGCO is requesting that certain aspects of gambling advertisements are folded – such as the use of celebrities or athletes who appeal to children. Such figures should not appear in gambling and sports betting advertisements contends the AGCO. So far, the regulator is conducting a review with stakeholders, hoping to pass meaningful criteria that could guide sports gambling advertisements.

Meanwhile, a Gamblers Anonymous worker has spoken with CTV News, who covered Subban’s story, and told the media that they had seen families with children as young as eight years old who experience problems with gambling. In this one particular case, said the Gamblers Anonymous worker, one eight-year-old managed to spend $25,000 because of gambling addiction. Subban himself has joined the Ban Ads for Gambling group, which is a newly set-up formation that intends to ensure that TV is free from gambling ads that may be impacting young people’s minds and health.

Subban said that action must be taken and it should start with athletes refusing to participate in such sports betting ads in the first place. The AGCO has still not set a date when it will be announcing its decision on gambling advertisements in the country.


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 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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