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The Impact of Advertising on the Gambling Industry in 2020

MediaInfoline December 28, 2020

Impact of Advertising

Advertising is an industry that is constantly evolving, and that is just as true for 2020 as it is for any other year. Over the past decade, traditional print media has been increasingly overtaken by broadcasting and sponsorship deals, but more recently we have seen these mediums overtaken by more modern advertising methods: digital marketing, for example. 2020 is the year that advertising got personal, with opportunities to target advertising towards your specific audience, and ensure that it doesn’t reach individuals it isn’t appropriate for. This ability to use social media advertising and target ads away from vulnerable individuals (children under the age of 18, for example) is ideal for a variety of industries, but particularly for the gambling industry.

With that in mind, here is how advertising has impacted the gambling industry in 2020:

An Increase in Licensed Gambling Brands

There was an 83 percent increase in the number of casino and online gambling brands where were licensed to market or advertise themselves to the public between 2015-2019, with the number rising from 2,714 to 4,968. But that doesn’t mean the market has become saturated: Whilst there may be more brands, there are also more advertising outlets thanks to the huge number of websites and social media channels available. For example, Leovegas online live casino games might find that social media advertising works best for them, whilst online bingo brands may still prefer broadcast media. There are literally thousands of options available, meaning that the diverse range of media channels will only keep growing.

Gambling Ad Exposure to Children

Of course, the audience that all gambling companies want to avoid reaching is children and young people under the age of 18. We can categorically say that in 2020, young people are being no more exposed to gambling advertising than they were in 2008, despite the huge increase in both companies and advertising opportunities. In 2008, children under the age of 18 saw an average of 2.2 gambling ads a week, and in 2019, children under the age of 18 were exposed to an average of 2.5 gambling ads. These were very rarely ads for online casinos, with adverts for bingo, lottery, and scratch cards making up the gambling ads that children were most likely to be exposed to. Because exposure to gambling advertising in childhood is linked to a greater likelihood of engaging in problem gambling in adulthood, gambling advertising complies with strict rules and guidelines aimed to minimize the risk of this exposure, something that has been trickier in broadcast advertising in 2020, with families spending more time at home.

2020 Advertising Restrictions

The rise of online advertising has occurred at just the right time for many gambling companies, as new advertising restrictions from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have committed to safer advertising in the broadcast arena in 2020, with at least 20% of TV and radio advertisements from its members now being dedicated to safer gambling adverts. There is a balance to be achieved between enticing new customers with advertising and responsibility: for this reason, BGC members will not only abide by the stringent measures which are already put in place by advertising standards watchdogs, but also by additional body standards.

Effectively, the industry is committed to promoting responsible gambling, has introduced a ‘whistle to whistle’ ban on pre-watershed advertising during live sporting events, and is striving to ensure that 2020 is the year that gambling advertisers are regarded as supportive and socially responsible. Because, as we are reminded in the now-famous phrase when the fun stops, stop.


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