June 21, 2023 3 min read

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Proposed Legislation Aims to Regulate Sports Betting Advertising in Canada

Senator Marty Deacon plans to introduce legislation to the Senate Public Bill, aiming to establish guidelines and regulations to address gambling advertising issues

The Canadian senator is calling for government regulation of sports gambling advertisements, citing concerns over the increasing exposure of Canadians to these ads and the potential for developing gambling addictions, particularly among young people and vulnerable groups. 

Senator Marty Deacon Calls for Stricter Regulations on Sports Gambling Ads to Prevent Addiction

Senator Marty Deacon argues that sports gambling ads have become pervasive and inescapable, reported CTV News. She emphasizes that these ads go beyond being merely annoying, as they can lead to addiction and other harmful consequences associated with gambling problems.

Under the proposed legislation, the government would collaborate with provinces and stakeholders to identify various measures to regulate the advertising of sports betting in Canada. Potential actions include limiting or prohibiting the participation of celebrity athletes in ads, restricting non-broadcast advertising, and controlling the number, scope, and location of such advertisements. 

Additionally, the legislation would focus on promoting research, sharing information between governments, and establishing national standards for preventing and diagnosing gambling addiction.

Senator Deacon points to other countries, including the UK, Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, which have recently implemented regulations on sports betting advertising. She believes that Canada should not wait for problems to arise before taking action. 

While an outright ban on sports gambling ads might be challenging, Deacon acknowledges historical difficulties in regulating industries like tobacco. Instead, she sees her proposed legislation as an opportunity to address these issues early on and prevent further harm.

Senator Deacon and Senator Cotter Advocate for Sports Events to Take Center Stage, Not Gambling Ads

Senator Deacon is calling on the government to find ways to advertise to Canadians without contributing to addiction. She emphasizes that the desired changes are not limited to the guidelines outlined in her legislation.

Supporting Deacon’s initiative, Senator Brent Cotter, a former law professor, highlighted how the pervasive nature of these ads distracts from the sports events themselves, which should be the primary focus.

At the beginning of June, the Canadian Mental Health Association‘s Ontario division also called for stricter rules on online gambling advertising, while Luke Clark, director of the University of British Columbia’s center for gambling research, emphasized the need for scrutiny of gambling ads due to their addictive nature. 

It must be noted that in May the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) extended a consultation deadline for proposed changes to internet-gaming advertising standards, including a potential ban on athletes and celebrities in gambling ads. The proposal sparked mixed reactions as Ontario’s online gambling industry grows, with concerns about youth exposure and calls for stricter regulations.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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