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Fiona Simmons January 26, 2023 2 min read
Research Says Reduced Advertisement Linked to Lower Harm in Vulnerable Groups
A new research from the University of Sheffield has looked into whether more restrictive measures on the gambling industry can benefit consumers, finding evidence to support the claim
The particular matter the research investigated was whether exposure to gambling advertisements has an impact on consumers’ decisions to gamble and spend more time gambling.
Research Probes Impact of Gambling Advertising
The paper, which was published in the Public Health journal, found evidence that the more gambling promotional inducement a person saw, the greater their participation in gambling was, establishing a causal relationship between the two.
This, the study said, led to an increased risk of developing gambling-related harm. Vulnerable individuals are already at a disadvantage, the research said, as they are more likely to be influenced.
The University of Sheffield’s research took vast data sets collected from more than 70 research papers that used various methodologies to assess and investigate the relationship between gambling and the advertisement that promotes it.
Liddy Goyder, the Professor of Public Health at the University’s School of Health and Related Research, commented on the research and said that gambling-related harms are a significant and potential driver of health inequalities.
She argued that many of the people who are actually vulnerable already experience financial, mental health, and social hardships, which puts them at a greater risk of becoming susceptible to such influences and taking the activity to the extreme.
Goyder argued that there was “substantial evidence” in all of the recent reviews conducted by the research team that gambling advertising has a pernicious impact on those most vulnerable. Exposure to gambling advertisements, Goyder added, has a significant chance of reducing harm to children and young people, and adults, who are particularly at a risk.
Advertisement to Play Central Role in Reregulation
Advertisement has been a hotly-debated topic in the gambling industry. Countries such as the Netherlands and Italy have banned it completely, arguing that targeting young adults would lead to more social ills than it would benefit society in the form of tax revenue.
Banning advertisement or restricting it in the United Kingdom has been a hot-button topic, with sports organizations fearing that they would lose money from betting and gambling companies. Industry groups have urged the government to tread carefully so as not to push more gamblers into the illegal offshore market which remains the main issue for the regulated market.
Regardless, the research will most likely be taken into consideration as part of the upcoming White Paper which will shake up the gambling industry.