man with phone looking at screen and placing a bet

Children as young as 8 recall seeing gambling ads on TV, despite restrictions

15th Apr 2019 - James Mildred

Children as young as eight can remember seeing gambling ads on TV, according to a new study, despite the fact it’s illegal to target young people with gambling advertising.

The study, carried out by Goldsmiths University in London, found that eight in ten children said they could recall seeing advertising and many said they had seen them while watching sport and especially on football shirts.

Gambling companies side-stepping ads ban through football

At the start of this season’s Premier League, CARE spoke out about the troubling relationship between football and the gambling industry.

Research revealed that 60% of teams across England’s top two divisions are sponsored by betting companies, inclduing 9/20 Premier League teams. 

½ of children see advertising on smartphones

Meanwhile, half of the children said they’d seen bookies branding on a computer or smartphone. One 13yo told researchers: “It’s normal for under-18's to bet with friends. I put £2 on Man U with other young people.”

According to the study, Bet365 and Betway were the gambling brands most commonly recalled by youngsters.

Small steps, but more to do

A voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising during live sports will start this summer which is a step in the right direction. On 1 April, alongside the reduction in the maximum stake on FOBTs, new rules around gambling advertising also came into force, although critics said they do not go far enough.

However, a huge amount of gambling advertising is online and there is an urgent need for regulations to catch-up.

There are currently estimated to be 450,000 11-16yr olds in the UK who bet on a regular basis and 55,000 in that age-group are classed as problem gamblers.

Find out more

Follow the gambling related news

CARE received UK-wide press coverage when the maximum stake reduction on FOBTs came into force


Get the latest updates
on our work