Online gambling is reaching the kiddies over social media, research has found the lack of regulation on social media means gaming companies are reaching young, potential gamblers easier.
The Centre for Gambling Education and Research at Southern Cross University study reported that posts encourage people to place online bets or visit betting venues could influence young people to gamble.
The online survey of 1,554 adults and 561 adolescents aged between 12 and 17 found the lack of online regulations on social media gambling advertising means that gambling companies can reach more people than ‘traditional’ advertising.
The study showed 15 per cent of adolescent respondents had engaged with gambling on social media by simply clicking on posts or sharing them.
The study found that one in 10 adult respondents said social media promotions had increased their gambling levels, these posts also had a similar effect on younger survey respondents.
“It does suggest that for the vulnerable, social media promotion is having an impact,” project researcher Sally Gainsbury said.
Executive officer Ian Fletcher of the Australian Wagering Council (who represents Bet365, Sportsbet, Unibet, William Hill and Betfair), told a Fairfax publication:
“The wagering industry operates in a highly competitive global environment and, as is the case across many industries, advertising promotes brand loyalty, creates awareness of the products being offered to the marketplace and allows companies to engage with their customers.
“There is no evidence-based research that the use of social media advertising by wagering companies has resulted in increased wagering spend.”