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Children being exposed to gambling by irresponsible’ firms

9 July 2019

A major new study by Ipsos Mori has found that gambling firms are not doing enough to stop children being exposed to gambling ads on social media, especially Twitter.

The research found that an estimated 41,000 children under 16 follow gambling accounts on Twitter and some young people retweeted those accounts 13,000 times.

Although the report said children were not being directly targeted, it also said that little was being done to screen them out of gambling ads.

“Content which may appeal to children and young people was found in 11% of mainstream media gambling adverts and 59% of eSports gambling content on twitter,” the report stated.

50,000 + child problem gamblers

This latest study comes just months after figures from the Gambling Commission suggested there are now more than 50,000 child problem gamblers in Great Britain.

Last month, NHS England also announced it was opening the first ever problem gambling clinic for child gamblers.

Fraction of gambling industry tweets about responsible gambling

The Gambling industry knows it has a duty to warn young people about the dangers of gambling, but the study showed that out of the 888,745 tweets analysed, only 7% contained a responsible gambling message.

Betting firms have also increased spending on paid advertising by 24% between 2015-2018.

Gambling ads prominent around football matches

Gambling ads are especially prominent during football matches. During one game between Rangers and Celtic, there were 920 occasions on which gambling brands were visible – one every 10 seconds.

Last year, CARE spoke out about how gambling firms were side-stepping the ban on targeting children by sponsoring teams across England’s top two divisions.

This interim report is part of a longer-term study commissioned by Gamble Aware and the final report will explore the full impact of gambling ads on children.

Find out more

Click here to find out about CARE’s work on gambling policy

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While for some, gambling is just harmless fun, for a significant minority it causes genuine devastation. Our vision is to see laws passed that will help protect vulnerable problem gamblers.

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