Gambling is a highly popular activity all over the world. Both virtual and land-based casinos can be defined as business entities that are selling their services to make money. Similar to every business entity looking to attract customers, casinos often rely on marketing to lure in new players. Nowadays, business owners can promote their services via many different channels, including radio, TV, press media, social media, and others.
Gambling Commercials Pose a Hidden Threat
Even though the nature and mechanisms of gambling commercials are not different from any other advertisement promoting a given product, casino ads raise a crucial ethical question about gambling problems. Gambling is a pastime as long as players know how to lose and when to stop playing. Unfortunately, some casino enthusiasts feel an uncontrollable urge to keep on gambling, which poses a threat to their financial stability.
Many experts believe that no matter how harmless the gambling ads may look, they do not help vulnerable people to fight their gambling problems, but even the opposite. It is extremely difficult to accurately estimate the number of people who are gambling excessively influenced by gambling commercials. But it is a matter of fact that the rate of problem gambling has risen over the years.
Owners of online casinos spend huge amounts of money to promote their services via different channels. However, gambling commercials usually evoke polarized views. On one side, commercial opponents believe that gambling advertisements have a negative impact on vulnerable people and children.
On the other side, proponents believe that gambling commercials are important to the prosperity of a given online casino. Here it is important to mention that the gambling industry contributes to decreasing the unemployment rate and bridging financial gaps in the economy.
Common Restrictions on Gambling Ads
Needless to say, increasing the popularity and availability of gambling services leads to an increase in gambling participation. In an attempt to avoid exacerbation of gambling-related problems, many jurisdictions adopted certain restrictions regarding the broadcast of gambling advertisements. Others went even further and banned all forms of gambling commercials. In the lines below, this report about gambling advertising will provide you with further information about the most common restrictions on gambling commercials.
When it comes to a well-regulated European gambling market, the first country most people would think of is the United Kingdom. The UK Gambling Commission is the gambling authority that oversees the market. One of its primary goals is to protect vulnerable people and minors. For that purpose, the country implemented strict regulation regarding the content of gambling commercials.
Under the gambling authority’s prescriptions, all gambling ads should carry a responsible gambling message and 18+ signs. In addition to that, gambling commercials can be broadcast only within a specific time window. What is more, gambling ads should not associate gambling activities with any form of physical, financial, or mental superiority. The participation of celebrities or athletes in gambling ads is no longer allowed throughout the UK and other countries that introduced a partial ban on gambling commercials.
In fact, countries with restrictions on gambling ads implemented similar rules. In the Czech Republic, for example, it is also forbidden to promote gambling services outside or inside public buildings. Other countries that introduced restrictions on gambling ads include Italy, the Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Spain, Australia, and others.
Will Gambling Ad Restrictions Change Gambling Behavior?
Gambling commercials are often considered to trigger a relapse from gambling. Hence, experts believe that restrictions on gambling ads will help the majority of people cope with their gambling problems as they will be exposed to less gambling commercials. What is more, such restrictions will protect adolescents from being excessively exposed to gambling ads.
It is hard to predict the exact impact of the restrictions on people’s gambling behavior, but these will certainly not deteriorate the current situation. To sum up, each country has an unique approach toward the regulation of gambling commercials. As we already hinted above, some jurisdictions adopted a complete ban on gambling ads. However, lawmakers are often advised to avoid implementing too stringent restrictions as these will significantly harm the gambling industry.
For that reason, most countries adopted a more liberal approach and introduced a partial ban on gambling ads. This will certainly have a negative effect on the gambling industry, but it will not be pernicious.