Premier League rollout marked by gambling messages

Premier League rollout marked by gambling messages

Premier League rollout marked by gambling messages
The opening week of the latest Premier League season saw soccer fans receive no fewer than 11,000 gambling messages, wrote The Guardian, a respected media publication in the United Kingdom, citing a report by 5 News from the Bristol Hub for Gambling Research. According to the report, there were a number of issues with the current state of gambling advertisements and soccer. For one, there were too many messages circulating around, and not nearly enough messages focused on safer gambling. Meanwhile, social media content continues to elude clear definition, as many of the messages sent through this channel lacked the proper marking as gambling ads, for example. Between August 11 and August 14, according to the report, viewers saw 6,966 gambling messages, which included circumference branding by gambling companies, logos on shirts, and additional advertisements during commercial breaks. According to the researchers, 1,902 of the advertisements shared on social media were seen 34m times, putting in prospect the pervasiveness of online advertisement and opposing it against the highly-debated but somewhat “dated” problem with shirt sponsorships. The majority of such social media ads, in fact, 92% of them, lacked the proper identification as an advertisement. Meanwhile, Sky Sports News broadcast was linked to 600 gambling messages in two hours of broadcast, the report said. This comes at a pivotal time for the industry, and there has been a clear commitment from gambling stakeholders when it comes to how gambling is advertised. For one, the Premier League’s top-flight clubs have already promised to forego front-of-shirt sponsorships at the end of the 2025/2026 season. The government is re-regulating the gambling industry in the United Kingdom as part of a broader effort to create a more equitable playing field that focuses on protecting the most vulnerable members of society. The Gambling Minister, Stuart Andrew, said that the government would support further restricting gambling advertisements and removing them from certain avenues of display. Andrew, though, cautioned that the government was acting without robust evidence about the direct link between ads and gambling-related harm. The minister explained that the government had decided to err on the side of caution so far as consumer safety is concerned. The latest report by 5 News and Bristol Hub for Gambling Research is not damning in its essence. It simply summarizes the number of times gambling messaging has been shown. It properly highlights, though, how social media has become a powerful tool for advertisement and has aptly suggested that more needs to be done to fully comprehend this important channel and how to better regulate advertisement there. Image credit: Unsplash.com

20 SEP 2023

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