Have Gambling Ads in the United Kingdom Gone Too Far?

If there is one sector that has benefitted immensely from the gambling industry it is advertising. This is not a new thing. Advertising has always been big business and often it is about the highest bidder. That is, so long as it’s within legal limits. Gambling operators have always known the importance of advertising to their businesses and have invested millions or even billions in the same.

However, the way this has been handled over the past several years has raised many concerns. Adverts about sports betting and other forms of gambling have been monumental to the success of many gambling businesses. Unfortunately, it also has ties to some of the negative aspects of the gambling sector, the most notable of which is gambling-related harm.

Gambling advertisements on live television and radio are very common. They have been the subject of controversy with regards to their messaging as well as their timing. As it turns out, that is just the beginning.

Enter Personalized Advertising

The world went digital years ago and that has largely contributed to the way we consume information. Objectively speaking, the digital space is essentially run through an advertising model which is big business for ad companies. One thing that the space has enabled is personalization thanks to all the data floating around.

Gambling companies can now feed specific people with targeted gambling adverts. These can be found across various social media sites, streaming sites and even forums. Blanket marketing was already a nightmare for responsible gambling activists. With personalized advertising, the stakes are much higher making the issue more complex.

What Now?

Digital privacy has been the subject of many discussions today but when it comes to its relation to gambling-related harm, the conversation is rather hard to streamline. For one, there are conflicting ideas about who should be responsible for ensuring users are protected. Moreover, there is always the issue of whether more regulations could be the ultimate fix for this.

Thankfully, some progress has been made when it comes to holding gambling operators accountable. Gambling ads can, of course, not target minors and people who may have gambling problems. The only drawback with this approach is that we have to trust the gambling companies to do their part especially with regard to advertising to adults.

Regulation is the next step but even that seems to be marred in a bit of controversy. In some cases, more stringent laws and regulations have done more harm than good. As such, it seems that what we may need to aim for is a balance that protects the consumers while keeping the gaming operators happy. Whether that is achievable or not is a whole different story. It is still a great place to start though.