A new study published in Australia has found that the country’s children consider gambling advertisements a normal part of watching sport.
Deakin University researchers said children as young as eight are recalling brand names and even promotional offers.
The academic paper found that last year, the gambling industry spent Aus$145 million (€99.4 million / $111.2 million) on promotion, making it the fourth biggest spender in Australian advertising.
The survey featured children aged between eight and 16 attending sports events and watching them on television, and in both cases they were familiar with the names of betting operators and terms such as bonus bets and cash back refunds.
“Children are very easily able to tell you that if you bet on a certain outcome of a game, if your team kicks the first goal but then go on to lose, that they now expect to get money back on those offers,” said Samantha Thomas, study co-author and associate professor.
“What that does is it suggests to kids that you can't lose from gambling.
“Children have a very high appeal to advertising, which includes things like humour, and we know that there are certain companies that use humour prolifically within their advertising.
“Three brands in particular were recalled very highly by children in our study — Sportsbet, the TAB and Bet365.”
The researchers have called for “a significant reduction in amount of marketing children exposed to”.
“At the moment, there is a very clear loophole in advertising regulations, which means that ads for gambling products can't be played within G-rated timeslot unless they're within sporting matches,” Thomas said.
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