Applying Corporate Political Activity (CPA) analysis to Australian gambling industry submissions against regulation of television sports betting advertising [open access article]

Hancock L., Ralph N., & Martino F. P. (2018). PLoS ONE 13(10). doi. https:// doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0205654

Background: A growing body of literature has confirmed how public interest outcomes are frequently opposed by vested interests. This research focused on gambling industry submissions to a 2013 Australian Parliamentary inquiry into sports betting advertising. Gambling advertising became highly controversial following deregulation of sports betting advertising in Australia subsequent to the 2008 Australian High Court Betfair challenge. The dramatic increase in gambling advertising during sporting event broadcasts at children’s viewing times and on new interactive technology, sparked public concerns. A series of national regulatory reviews followed and the gambling industry was actively involved in opposing further regulation. Access full article

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Young people’s awareness of the timing and placement of gambling advertising on traditional and social media platforms: a study of 11–16-year-olds in Australia (open access article)

Thomas, S. L., Bestman, A., Pitt, H., Cassidy, R., McCarthy, S., Nyemcsok, C., Cowlishaw, S., & Daube, M. (2018). Harm Reduction Journal, 15(51). doi:10.1186/s12954-018-0254-6

Abstract: Research has demonstrated that the promotion of gambling, particularly within sport, may have a significant impact on positively shaping young people’s attitudes towards gambling. While some governments have implemented restrictions to limit young people’s exposure to gambling advertising, few studies have investigated where young people recall seeing gambling advertising, and whether they perceive that advertising restrictions have gone far enough in reducing exposure to these promotions.. Access full article

Bet Anywhere, Anytime: An Analysis of Internet Sports Bettors’ Responses to Gambling Promotions During Sports Broadcasts by Problem Gambling Severity

Nerilee Hing, Alex Myles Thomas Russell, Matthew Lamont, Peter Vitartas.

Promotions for online sports betting during televised sports broadcasts are regularly viewed by millions of Australians, raising concerns about their impacts on vulnerable groups including at-risk and problem gamblers. This study examined whether responses to these promotions varied with problem gambling severity amongst 455 Australian Internet sports bettors participating in an online survey. Results indicated that young male Internet sports bettors are especially vulnerable to gambling problems, particularly if they hold positive attitudes to gambling sponsors who embed promotions into sports broadcasts and to the promotional techniques they use and this heightens the risk that alluring messages contribute to excessive gambling. As problem gambling severity increased, so too did recognition that these promotions have impacted negatively on their sports betting behaviour. Because a plethora of sports betting brands and promotions are now heavily integrated into sports coverage, social marketing efforts are needed to offset their persuasive appeal and counter the positive attitudes towards them that appear linked to excessive gambling amongst Internet sports bettors.

Gambling Games on Social Platforms: How Do Advertisements for Social Casino Games Target Young Adults?

Brett Abarbanel, Sally M. Gainsbury, Daniel King, Nerilee Hing, Paul H. Delfabbro

Social casino gaming, which simulates gambling games on social platforms, has become increasingly popular and is rapidly merging with the gambling industry. Advertisements for social casino games, however, are not bound by the same regulations as real money gambling, despite their similarities. We performed a content analysis of a sample of 115 unique social casino gaming advertisements captured by young adults during their regular Internet use. The results showed that the advertisement imagery typically featured images likely to appeal to young adults, such as bright colors, character images of young adults, cartoon animal characters, gambling and sporting activities, references to popular culture, and references to Las Vegas. Latent and manifest message themes included glamorization of gambling, winning, normalization of gambling, play for free, and a general encouragement to play. Notably, nearly 90 percent of the advertisements contained no responsible or problem gambling language, despite the gambling-like content. As young people are receptive of messages that encourage gambling, we recommend that gaming companies recognize the potential harms of advertisements and embrace corporate social responsibility standards. This includes adding warning messages to advertisements for gambling-themed games and ensuring that marketing messages do not encourage excessive gambling.

Exposure to Gambling Advertisements and Gambling Behavior in Young People

A cross-sectional survey of 4617 adolescents and young adults from 38 schools in two German states was conducted in 2014 to assess the association between gambling advertisements and gambling behavior. Exposure to ten gambling advertisements was measured with masked ad images; students indicated contact frequency and brand recall. Main outcomes were several gambling behaviors including probable pathological gambling assessed with the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS ≥ 5). A total of 65.4 % of the students reported gambling at least once in their life; 42.2 % gambled in the last 12 months; 6.9 % gambled in the last week, and 2.8 % reported probable pathological gambling. The average frequency that one of the selected ads had been seen at least once was 29.5 %, the average brand recall rate was 9.4 %. After adjustment for confounding, multilevel mixed-effects logistic regressions revealed that high gambling ad exposure was positively related to all assessed gambling outcomes, with the strongest association for weekly gambling. Future studies need to clarify the temporal sequence and specificity of these associations.

Temptation and prevention provided by the gambling industry: Main and interactive effects on gamblers

Our study investigates the effects of pro versus anti-gambling messages funded by the gambling industry. Paradoxically, our results show that anti-gambling ads funded by the gambling industry enhance gambling intent as do pro-gambling ads. We propose some suggestions related to the ways this finding should guide public policies.

Source: Lemarié, L., & Chebat, J.-C. (2015). Temptation and prevention provided by the gambling industry: Main and interactive effects on gamblers. Recherche et Applications En Marketing (English Edition). http://doi.org/10.1177/2051570715604319

Affective response to gambling promotions during televised sport: A qualitative analysis

Lamont, M., Hing, N., & Vitartas, P. (n.d.). Affective response to gambling promotions during televised sport: A qualitative analysis. Sport Management Review. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.smr.2015.06.002

Abstract: Gambling promotions extensively punctuate contemporary televised sport broadcasts and concerns have been raised about their potential impacts on vulnerable groups. Research suggests advertising can shape individuals’ emotions, or affect, towards a product/brand and can subsequently influence purchasing decisions. Consequently, understanding how promotion of gambling influences sport viewers is an important although sparsely addressed area of research. This paper presents exploratory research on affective responses towards gambling promotions displayed during televised sport…

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