The use of social media in gambling


The purpose of this project was to identify and describe the availability and promotion of gambling and social casino game opportunities via social media; whether there has been a transition between social casino game play and gambling; and the potential for social media to be used to promote responsible gambling. This is the first comprehensive study worldwide to look into the newly emerging areas of social media and social casino games in terms of their convergence with and impacts on the marketing and use of gambling. Gambling operators licensed within Australia appear to abide by advertising codes of conduct. Many do not specifically promote gambling products via social media, instead focusing on brand promotion. However, most do not include mention of responsible or problem gambling in their social media promotions. Social casino games are readily accessible via social media and mobile apps and have a strong market in Australia. For the majority of people, social casino games have no impact on their gambling. There is little evidence that gambling promotions via social media or social casino games influence gambling for the majority of users. However, for a minority of at-risk gamblers and adolescents, social casino games may encourage increased gambling and irrational beliefs, which may exacerbate existing gambling problems. There is a very high overlap between gamblers and social casino game players, indicating an underlying interest in gambling-themed activities driving both activities. However, these activities appear to be used for different purposes for the majority of players. Australian social media sites are likely to continue to feature gambling themes through games and promotions from gambling operators as long as a large number of relevant target audiences use these platforms. Policy makers and stakeholders should continue to monitor the use of social media for the promotion of gambling as well as gambling-themed games to ensure that there are minimal potential negative consequences for users, particularly people vulnerable to gambling problems and youth.

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