Youngsters are Interacting with Gambling Adverts on Social Media, Says Report

Aug 19

The Biddable Youth report has reignited the already-fiery debate involving gambling advertisements and how they entice young people to gamble.

The said report has suggested that in spite of the stringent regulations that are already in place, some companies are aggressively breaching the new rules especially regarding e-Sports competitions.

After the report published by a think tank at the University of Bristol called Demos came out, experts are calling for more age verification procedures to prevent youngsters from viewing gambling ads after discovering that up to a quarter of children under 16 made comments on betting odds for computer game tournaments through Twitter.

Esports is a fairly new market for bookmakers, but it has direct links to the successful youth culture, which has seen teen gamers come away with massive amounts of cash for winning the Fortnite World Cup. It is projected that the market would be worth £1.36bn (or $1.65bn) by this year’s end.

The report carefully analyzed more than 888,000 tweets related to betting over nine months in 2018.

Created by think tank Demos, the report analyzed over 888,000 tweets related to betting over nine months in 2018. Results indicate that an estimated 28% of replied or retweets to betting tweets in the UK that focused on esports came from children who under the age of 16. All around the world, that statistic rose to 45%.

Critically for betting firms, the GambleAware-funded report discovered that around 74% of e-sports tweets did not obey current advertising regulations.

Results exhibited that the advertisements either stimulated gambling at unsociable hours or presented betting as a means to gain income. They also broke the rule that persons under the age of 25 must not be shown in a gambling advert.

Professor Agnes Nairn, from the University of Bristol, said:

:We were really surprised at the number of children actively engaging with esports gambling accounts.”

She went on to emphasize how this kind of behavior can go unnoticed by a parent. She explained: “It’s online, where parents won’t see it, and it’s using clever content marketing such as amusing gifs, memes, pictures and funny stories, designed to appeal to and implicitly influence young people.”

In its conclusion, the report suggested that more should be done by social media platforms and technology firms especially when it comes to age verification tools. This would guarantee that adverts were not displayed to all. Regulators have also been passed advertisements which may have broken stern regulations around advertising to children.

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) also observed the impact of technology and how they are investigating. In a statement, the association declared: “We are examining online advertising to strengthen protections for those underage. Age-gating for social media advertising will play an important role.”