Online advertising now accounts for the lion's share of marketing spend by gambling firms, according to the latest research to be carried out by GambleAware, which estimates that 80% of total budgets are now swallowed by the sector.
Financial analysis conducted by the charity has tracked a ‘surge’ in spend amid increasing public concern at the prevalence of gambling-related marketing, particularly around football and the perceived ‘normalisation of gambling for children’.
Such fears are not unfounded with 59% of 11-16 year olds believed to have come across a gambling-related advert online, with one in eight actively following gambling companies on social media.
Marc Etches, GambleAware’s chief executive, remarked: “We recognise that gambling-related sponsorship and advertising are important sources of funding for both professional football and grass-roots community participation in the sport. However, there is growing public concern about the nature and extent of the relationship between football and betting. In particular, whether the extent of betting-related marketing around football is contributing to the normalisation of gambling for children.”
Statistics compiled by the Gambling Commission indicate that 450,000 children now spend money on gambling with 55,000 of these being classified as problem gamblers.
GambleAware was responsible for a hard-hitting campaign designed to raise awareness of problem gambling among 15-24 year olds.