With gambling trending, the government has placed restrictions on adverts in the industry. The move by the government intends to curb a wide swath of issues, especially with UK online casino. These range from underage gambling to adverts aimed at persons with gambling problems.
We’ll examine the laws, the advertising they desire to curtail, and the impact on the citizenry. We will also view the impact on the gambling industry and the economy. Kate Richards shows how it is handling the new policies.
A Brief History
Gambling laws in the UK date back to the mid-sixteenth century. The first laws intended to curb the collection of debts through the courts. The law, which forbade gambling, intended to constrain interruption of military training.
Through the centuries, the government, at turns, has both endorsed and condemned gambling. In times of conflict, lotteries helped to generate funds to pay for the endeavors. Public enthusiasm for the lotteries garnered the funds to field troops for conflicts.
The recent history of gambling shows it as the pastime of the working and middle-classes advertisements for the betting establishments are displayed and viewable by all age groups. The later laws intended to restrain adverts aimed at minors.
Changes In Advertising
The laws prevent casinos from advertising to minors and potential gambling addicts. While these laws don’t affect most players, they do affect the casinos themselves. Potential new players may find it harder to locate the casino most suitable to their style of play.
The CAP Code regulates the targeting of minors in gambling advertising, including showing images of anyone under the age of 25 years old in print or televised adverts. Reducing the adverts aimed at minors intends to reduce underage gambling.
While these steps are well-intentioned, they are far from comprehensive. Future laws for online sites may involve providing legal proof of age in the future.
The laws include sports apparel that includes casino or betting sites in the design. Even professional team replica apparel is under the provision.
The proliferation of online casinos has added extra complexity to the legal regulations. Recent history shows that while the laws seem harsh, they don’t give enough protection.
In 2018, the BBC Sports section did a report on the impact of gambling and the effects. According to the article, Bet365, the largest in-play tv advertiser, reported £660m in profits. Bet365 and others aired more than 90 minutes of advertising during the World Cup in 2017. Teams wearing jerseys with Bet365 logos were worn during the games.
According to the report, suicides related to young men with gambling problems are on the rise. The suicide of Jack Ritchie and the ensuing movement by his family was reported in the article. Jack’s father, Charles Ritchie, blames the in-play betting aspect of football for a part in his son’s death.
For many, gambling is a fun and relaxing hobby. Most people enjoy the excitement and social interaction. For those with gambling addiction, it may become a compulsion. They lack the ability to stop. This compulsion takes over their ability to see the depth of their addiction.
Advertising for sports betting, along with alcohol, predominates in sports coverage. We’ve become so used to it that it often goes unnoticed. While the focus of the new regulations aims at advertising to minors, the truth is that the public is at risk.
Gambling is a part of the everyday marketing barrage that we receive. Like alcohol and tobacco, gambling has become a mainstay for adverts. Unfortunately, consumers have become numb. The new legislation is seeking to provide relief.
Online and in-person gambling is an entertaining and enjoyable pastime for many. For some though, it opens a door into a nightmare. A destructive spiral that leads to financial, social, and personal ruin. While psychotherapy is able to help, the damage can become overwhelming.
Underage Addiction to Gambling
A study for the Gambling Commission shows over 450,000 11-15-year-old children in the UK gamble each week. The study further revealed that 9,000 young people will likely develop a gambling addiction.
Of the minors studied, many showed visible traits related to underage gambling. Below is a non-inclusive list of some signs of potential gambling problems in youths.
- Unexplained money
- Secretive, sullen behavior
- Mood changes
- Changes in behavior/grades in school
- Spending excessive time watching sporting events
- Sudden, extravagant purchases
- Missing items/money around the home
- Withdrawal from usual activities/interest
The signs may show a burgeoning struggle with gambling. Minors are at high risk for developing addictions due to the malleability of their personality at that age they are susceptible.
Most minors gamble amongst their friends, at arcades, and online. The access to the internet and lack of oversight by adults can open gambling to these at-risk groups. Helping these developing adolescents find constructive alternatives to gambling is the challenge. Systemic peer pressure, the need to fit in, is an overwhelming drive. Only by a concerted effort from parents, caregivers, and local resources can the trend end.
The Bottom Line
Responsible advertising, enforcement of the laws, and adult interventions are necessary. Gamblers know that the casinos, betting halls, and tracks are there. The targeting of these adverts seems intentional. By reducing the impact of adverts on the market, minors would feel less compelled to seek out these sites.
Author’s bio: Kate Richards is a highly devoted professional in marketing, specializing in event marketing, public relations, and the gambling industry. Kate is passionate about her work because she loves what she is doing. Kate has a steady source of motivation that drives her to do her best.