Coventry, England - Researchers from the University of Warwick have discovered that the warning slogan “When the Fun Stops, Stop” that is attached to gambling advertisements in the UK is having very little influence on people’s gambling habits.
The researchers took note that within the slogan, the word fun is made larger than the rest. In their view, the word fun failed to attain its goal of promoting responsible gambling in this experiment.
In the research, the scientists queried 506 people to place small bets, amounting to nine £0.10 bonuses, after witnessing betting adverts. Some of these held the warning, while others did not. The participants had also all said that they were fans of the Premier League and had experience in online sports betting.
Dr. Lukasz Walasek, one the authors of the study, said: “The purpose of the ‘When the fun stops, stop’ warning label is to encourage more responsible gambling behavior. Yet there is hardly any evidence suggesting that such labels are effective.”
The report also indicated that 41.3% of those who had seen the message were more likely to place a bet compared with 37.8% who had seen an advert without it. Yet, it also added that this figure was not considerable enough to mention that the slogan was being counterproductive.
Gillian Wilmot, who is the chair of the industry’s Senet Group, which is responsible for the slogan, said that it was never meant to dissuade people from gambling. Rather, it was geared to get people to stop and think about their gambling behaviors. However, she did say that they were thinking of upgrading the warning message, which includes dwindling the font size of the word “fun.”
Wilmot said: “Last year, we initiated a review of the campaign, informed by a substantial behavioral study, and the new creative will reflect a change to the relative size of the word fun in response to feedback.”
In 2018, Lord Chadlington, who is a member of the UK’s Conservative Party, expressed that he wanted to see gambling ads restricted an hour before and an hour after sporting events. He was joined by the Church of England, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish National Party (SNP).
In a step forward geared at helping safeguard young children, a ban on gambling ads recently came into effect, with the start of the Ashes cricket series between England and Australia.
Reported earlier this month, the ban will take place five minutes before the start of the match and five minutes after the end of it. Known as the “whistle to whistle” ban, the ad ban will start from 9 p.m.