Gambling is the second most regulated industry in the world. With so many regulations and age restrictions on gambling, you’d think it wouldn’t be able to advertise on television—or social media, or Google, or pretty much anywhere else. So Why are Gambling Ads Still on TV?
But that’s not the case. Gambling ads are still common on TV and other media because they’re effective. There are countless studies that show advertisements work; when we see an advertisement for a product, our inclination to buy it goes up.
Gambling ads have been the subject of much scrutiny in recent years, but that hasn’t stopped them from continuing to run on television. In fact, according to a recent report from Advertising Age, the volume of gambling ads on TV actually increased last year.
Whether these ads are good or bad for society is a matter of debate, and there is evidence supporting both points of view. But it seems that the people who stand to lose most – at least financially – are often those who continue to air these ads.
Let’s take a look at why this continues to happen and why we should be concerned about their proliferation on our televisions. The reason why gambling ads are still on TV is because they’re proven to entice people to visit casinos or play online games like poker and roulette.
A Brief History of Gambling Ads
All forms of gambling have been around for millennia, but the first regulated gambling house opened in England in 1694. Over the next 200 years, gambling houses were the main source of entertainment across Europe, North America, and Asia.
One of the first gambling advertisements on record is from 1675, when two men in London placed an advertisement in the newspaper offering odds on the English Revolution. They were arrested and jailed, but gambling ads continued to be a problem until this day.
Gambling ads became more prevalent in the 21st century, when the internet and social media allowed advertisers to reach a larger audience. The first online gambling ads appeared in 2003, when the UK and Australian governments allowed licensed casinos to advertise their sites.
What’s the Problem with Gambling Ads?
First and foremost, gambling poses a significant risk for problem gamblers. According to the National Council on Problem Gambling, 3% of people gamble, 1% of whom have a serious gambling problem. And research shows that rates of gambling addiction are significantly higher among people who have easy access to gambling.
In fact, one of the biggest problems with gambling ads is how they can make gambling more accessible to people who are already at risk of developing a problem. Many of these ads air during late-night programming, when youth and young adults are more likely to be watching TV.
They also run during sporting events, when many people are watching with friends who may not realize how damaging gambling can be. This can make it easier for people to get drawn into gambling and harder for them to get out.
How do gambling ads work?
Gambling ads are designed to encourage impulse buying and make people think about gambling. They’ll often use glamorous models and say things like, “You’re one spin away from winning millions.” Like any advertisement, the goal is to get you to part with your money.
In this case, the money is usually deposited into an online gambling account or spent at a casino. Gambling ads are often targeted towards people who are already gamblers, but they’re also aimed at people who aren’t.
Some ads are meant to appeal to people who wish they could gamble but can’t because they’re underage. Some ads are also targeted towards people who can legally gamble but don’t. These people still like the excitement of gambling, but they don’t want to spend their own money.
Gambling ads are meant to appeal to the idea of instant gratification, which is why they’re often shown right after a sporting event. If your team loses, you could win back your money right away if you gamble.
How Effective Are Gambling Ads?
Gambling ads are very effective at getting people to visit casinos or play online games like poker and roulette. They’re sometimes shown after televised sporting events because people are already in a “game” mindset and are more likely to engage in gambling.
Even if someone doesn’t go to a casino after seeing a gambling ad, they’re still likely to engage in gambling activity. Most gambling ads are designed to get people to play online or visit a casino, but some also encourage people to play poker, blackjack, and other games.
People who see gambling ads are often more likely to place a bet even if they don’t bet with real money. The UK Gambling Commission reports that 81% of people who gamble play games like slots, poker, and roulette online.
Gambling ads increase the number of people trying to win money and the amount of money people will spend. In the UK, the amount of money spent on gambling increased by 10% between 2017 and 2018.
Related Article: Why gaming addiction is bad
Why Are Gambling Ads Still on TV?
Gambling ads were a problem even when they were just appearing in newspapers. In the 17th century, the UK government tried to put an end to gambling ads, but they kept popping up anyway. Gambling ads have been regulated in the UK since the 1950s. In 1961, the UK government placed a ban on gambling ads before 9 p.m.
This made it harder for children to see gambling ads, but it didn’t end them completely. The internet changed the way gambling ads could be seen. In 2003, the UK government allowed licensed casinos to advertise their sites online.
This opened up a whole new world of gambling advertisements. Gambling ads are still shown on TV because they’re effective. Studies show that people who see gambling ads are more likely to visit a casino or play online games like poker and roulette.
Who’s Watching Gambling Ads?
Gambling ads are usually shown after televised sporting events, which are often watched by males aged 18-35. This demographic is the most likely to engage in gambling activity after seeing a gambling advertisement.
Gambling ads are sometimes shown during the day, but they’re usually shown after 10 p.m. These ads are designed to appeal to teenagers and young adults who might have more flexible bedtimes than adult viewers. Gambling ads are shown on all kinds of networks.
BBC One and Channel 4 air gambling ads throughout the day, while ITV and Sky Sports show them at night. The Internet is also full of gambling ads, especially on video-sharing websites like YouTube.
The Downsides of Gambling Ads
Gambling ads promote a dangerous and addictive pastime. According to the UK Gambling Commission, 0.8% of the population is addicted to gambling. This number increases to 1.8% among people who gamble online. Gambling is a risky and unpredictable pastime that’s accessible to all ages.
Many people gamble with money they don’t have, and gambling adds stress to an already stressful situation. Gambling ads are designed to get you to spend your money and increase the amount you gamble. They’re also designed to get you to visit a casino or play online as soon as possible.
Gambling ads also show you the best possible scenario. They don’t show you the ugly side of gambling, like people who lose their homes to casino and online game debt.
Why Are Gambling Ads Still allowed?
As the title suggests, the reason why gambling ads are still allowed on TV and social media is because they’re effective. Gambling ads increase the amount people gamble, which is why they’re so profitable for casinos, lotteries, and other gambling outlets.
Gambling ads were regulated to stop underage people from gambling and to ensure gambling was being done responsibly. These regulations haven’t changed, but they’re not being followed. Gambling ads are shown during programs that are watched by children and teenagers.
They’re shown on all kinds of channels that air other shows that are typically watched by families. Gambling ads are shown at late hours when most people are in bed, but they’re shown frequently enough to make a big impact.
How Can Technology Help Fix This Problem?
Gambling, whether online or in a brick-and-mortar casino, is largely the same as it always has been. With the advent of new technologies, though, it’s now easier than ever to gamble. And it’s easier than ever to get addicted to gambling.
While the gambling industry is still responsible for regulating itself, technology can help discourage problem gambling. To start, companies should use more responsible advertising practices, like limiting the times when gambling ads are aired and increasing support for responsible gambling initiatives.
While there is no foolproof way to prevent problem gambling, technology can help build more effective safeguards.
Why Should We Be Concerned About Gambling Ads?
Aside from the fact that gambling is exploitative by nature and harmful to many who participate in it, gambling ads are costing advertisers a lot of money. This was especially true in the 1980s and 1990s, when gambling ads became more frequent.
In 1996, gambling advertisers spent $1.1 billion on ads, which accounted for roughly 1/3 of all sports ad revenues that year. And the problem isn’t just with gambling advertisers. Because gambling ads air during programming that many consumers want to watch, they’re often the source of major conflicts between advertisers and networks.
What Can Be Done to Change This?
Luckily, the tides are turning in favor of those who are concerned about gambling ads. In the 1990s, the FCC started to place restrictions on gambling advertising. And in 2006, the Supreme Court upheld the FCC’s authority to regulate gambling ads.
While there are regulations regarding when and where these gambling ads can be broadcast, these aren’t always perfectly enforced. For example, the NFL’s own policy regarding gambling ads is that they be kept off during games featuring teams whose home cities have legalized sports wagering.
That’s a lot of conditions, and gambling ads have still been showing up during games since the start of the new season.
Are gambling ads shown in other countries?
Yes. Gambling ads are shown in the UK, Australia, and many other countries.
Are gambling ads shown on sport networks?
Yes. Gambling ads are shown on all kinds of sports networks, including NFL and MLB.
Are gambling ads shown on networks that target children?
Yes. Gambling ads are shown on networks that are targeted towards teens, young adults, and even younger children.
What is the difference between gambling and gaming?
Gambling involves wagering money on an event with an element of luck involved. Gaming is a more general term that refers to playing a game, regardless of whether it involves chance or not.
What are the effects of gambling?
Gambling can be harmful to your mental health, both in the short and long term. It can lead to feelings of guilt, anxiety, anger and even suicidal thoughts.
Can gambling addiction be treated?
Yes, but treatment needs to happen as soon as possible in order to be effective.
Gambling is a legitimate industry, but it’s also one that’s easy to be exploited and hard to get out of. Unfortunately, gambling ads are still airing on television, and they’re doing real damage to society. More recently, though, the tide has begun to turn in favor of those who have concerns about these ads.
The gambling industry is still largely in charge of its own regulation, but technology can help discourage problem gambling.
Gambling ads are dangerous and should be regulated further. Like any other advertisement, gambling ads are designed to get you to spend your money. Gambling ads are shown in all dayparts, on all kinds of networks, and even during the holidays.
They’re shown during sporting events, which are often watched by children and teenagers, and they’re shown after the programs end. Gambling ads are shown in other countries, and they’re shown during programs that are targeted towards children