Does gambling advertising contribute to problem gambling?

Abstract

Advertising of gambling is a potential public health issue if it can be shown that advertising has a direct and material effect on gambling participation or that advertising has a direct affect on problem gambling outcomes (generally or for specific populations). This paper attempts to overview the literature on gambling and advertising. Since there is very little empirical literature in the area, this paper also examines other areas of potential relevance including a brief overview of alcohol advertising and its effects as there may well be lessons and insights that can be learned. It is very clear that the question of whether increased gambling advertising leads to increased gambling problems just cannot be answered on the base of such a small pool of data. It is argued that there has to be a strong commitment to socially responsible behaviour across the gambling industry. Socially responsible advertising should form one of the elements of protection afforded to ordinary customers and be reflected in codes of practice. Furthermore, children and problem gamblers deserve additional shielding from exposure to gambling products and premises, and their advertising.

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