The effect of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable adults

Interim synthesis report
Advertising Gambling Internet gambling Sports betting Problem gambling United Kingdom

In March 2018, GambleAware commissioned two independent consortia to assess the extent, nature and impact of gambling marketing and advertising on children, young people and vulnerable groups in the UK. The first consortium was led by Ipsos MORI (in partnership with University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh, Ebiquity and the Centre for Analysis of Social Media at Demos), and the second by the University of Stirling (in partnership with ScotCen Social Research, University of Glasgow, and University of Warwick). Each consortium looked at the broad spectrum of gambling marketing and advertising, using different research methods (see Table 1.1 below summarising the different strands of each study). Separate consortium reports have been prepared to give more detail on the work each consortia led and methods used. These separate reports will be published online later in the year.

Ipsos MORI have written this interim synthesis report, which explores exposure, tone and format of gambling related marketing and advertising. It draws on data from all strands minus the survey of children and young people and collection of ‘click through data’ (strands 7 and 10). The results from these strands will be available in due course and will form part of the final, full synthesis report which will report on the impact of gambling advertising. The key findings, conclusions and recommendations synthesised in this report represent the views of Ipsos MORI, and do not necessarily represent the views of all the authors who contributed to the research study.

The key objectives of the research were:

  • To explore whether and how gambling marketing and advertising influences children, young people and vulnerable adults’ attitudes towards gambling.
  • To examine the tone and content of gambling marketing and advertising across all media, including social media, and to explore the potential impact of these on children, young people and vulnerable adults.
  • To identify specific themes and features of gambling advertising that children, young people and vulnerable adults are particularly susceptible to.

For the purposes of this research children and young people were those aged 11 to 24, and vulnerable adults were defined as people living in constrained economic circumstances, people with limited capacity to understand information, people already experiencing problems with gambling, and people with experience of mental health problems.

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