Thousands of children are being exposed to social media ads for unlicensed e-sports gambling which break advertising regulations, a new study suggests.

Researchers looked at more than 800,000 tweets relating to traditional gambling, as well as betting on e-sports – computer games tournaments played competitively.
Using publicly available data, a machine-learning algorithm assessed that 41,000 accounts that interacted with these tweets probably belonged to children aged under 16.

It found that children were particularly likely to respond to e-sports advertising, accounting for 28 per cent of interactions with this form of content.

 The authors of the study from Bristol University called on technology companies to make better use of age verifications tools to ensure children are not shown gambling ads.

Figures from the Gambling Commission estimate that 55,000 children in the UK could have a gambling problem.

Fruit machines remain the most common way for children to first encounter gambling but bookmakers and online casinos have come under increasing pressure over the proliferation of adverts for betting, particularly in places where children are likely to see it such as during football matches and on social media.

The available evidence indicates that exposure to gambling at a young age increases the risk that a person will become addicted in later life.

 Twitter has become an important platform for both traditional and e-sports companies to advertise to potential customers. The study found that the five biggest operators – Ladbrokes, bet365, Coral, Betfred​ and Paddy Power – sent an average of 78 tweets per day.

Much of this content is “designed to be widely attractive, memetic and, most importantly, shareable,” the study’s authors wrote. “As a result, it is very difficult to restrict, or even predict, the audience for a given piece of messaging.”

The advertising industry’s code of conduct states that “marketing communications must be obviously identifiable as such” but many of the social media adverts assessed did not do this.

Close to three-quarters of the gambling adverts appeared to break advertising industry regulation in some way, the researchers said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News Categories
Recommended Casinos
4.5 rating
100% Buy in Bonus + 50 Free Spins
T&C Apply

Opt in required. New customers to Casino page only. 1x per customer. Min. Buy in £10. Bonus value 100% of Buy in. Max. Bonus £300. 40x Wagering, Max Redeemable £4,000. 50 Free Spins with x35 wagering will be awarded after the Buy in Bonus is completed, Max Redeemable £1,000. Bonus expires after 7 days. Stake contributions, player, country, currency, payment method, game restrictions and terms apply.
Read more

4.6 rating
11 Welcome Spins Wager-Free
T&C Apply

New players only. Min deposit p10. Account balance is withdrawable at any time Upon withdraal, any remaining bonus spins are forfeited:. 7 days to activate the spins: Bonus spins expire 24 hours after activation. Full T&C Apply. +18. Play responsibly.
Read more

4.0 rating
100% BONUS UP TO £100 In Bonuss +100 Bonuss spins OnStarburst (On 1st Deposit)
T&C Apply

New players only. 100% Match on 1st Deposit. Min deposit £10, max bonus £100 & 100 spins. 30x wagering (Dep + Bonus), 30x on spins, 4x conversion. Selected slots only T&C’s apply.
Read more

4.5 rating
$1,000 WELCOME PACKAGE
T&C Apply

As a new player, our goal is to exceed your expectations and become your preferred online casino so we are giving you $1,000 Free on your first 5 deposits. Read full T&C's below. Play Responsibly. www.begambleaware.org
Read more

4.3 rating
100% BONUS UP TO £100 In Bonuss +100 Bonuss spins OnStarburst (On 1st Deposit)
T&C Apply

New players only. 100% Match on 1st Deposit. Min deposit £10, max bonus £100 & 100 spins. 30x wagering (Dep + Bonus), 30x on spins, 4x conversion. Selected slots only T&C’s apply.
Read more