Effects of wagering marketing on vulnerable adults

Effects of wagering marketing on vulnerable adults

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation

Commissioned report— September 2018
Man using his smartphone to bet online

This study was funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation and conducted in collaboration with researchers from Central Queensland University. It examined the impact of approaches to wagering marketing, including inducements, on vulnerable adults. 

Vulnerable adults were defined as those in low-risk, moderate-risk and problem gambling categories on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI)

The study was guided by three research questions:

  1. What is the impact of wagering marketing on vulnerable adults?
  2. Are particular marketing approaches associated with increases in potentially harmful gambling behaviours?
  3. Do gambling inducements change gambler behaviour and attitudes?

Findings from the study show that wagering advertisements and inducements increase betting expenditure. 

Key messages

Findings from the study show that wagering advertisements and inducements: 

  • are prolific
  • encourage riskier betting
  • increase betting expenditure
  • elicit attention, excitement, and desire to bet amongst vulnerable gamblers, and
  • have negative effects on all gambler risk groups.

Regulation of advertisements and inducements is needed to reduce gambling-related harm, but in isolation is not sufficient.

Consistent with a public health approach, regulation of marketing needs to be complemented with measures that target the availability, accessibility and normalisation of wagering in Australia.

The report is published on the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation website.

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