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GambleAware Urges Stronger Warnings on Gambling Ads in UK



Urgent Call for Stronger Public Health Warnings on UK Gambling Ads

A Wake-Up Call for Gambling Advertising

Amidst growing concerns over gambling addiction, GambleAware has ignited a crucial dialogue on the nature of gambling advertisements in the UK.

By proposing a shift to more explicit health warnings, the charity aims to reshape public perceptions and heighten awareness of gambling risks.

Through impactful messaging and transparent communication, these proposed changes seek to prevent gambling harm and offer clearer pathways to support.

Explore the compelling findings from GambleAware’s latest research and understand the vital changes needed in gambling advertising practices.


The Need for Change in Gambling Advertising

GambleAware, a leading UK charity focused on preventing gambling harm, has recently intensified calls for significant changes in how gambling risks are communicated in advertisements. This push follows a comprehensive study involving over 7,000 participants, which revealed the limited impact of current safer gambling campaigns.

Inadequate Current Measures

The prevailing campaign, ‘Take Time to Think,’ orchestrated by the Betting and Gaming Council, has been criticized for its ineffectiveness. GambleAware’s study suggests that the slogan does not adequately convey the serious risks associated with gambling nor does it effectively guide those in need towards assistance.

Proposing Stronger Warnings

In response to these findings, GambleAware advocates for the adoption of stark, unambiguous public health warnings within gambling ads. Their research tested several new warnings, with phrases like “Gambling can be addictive” resonating more effectively with participants compared to the current messaging. This phrase alone showed a 46% effectiveness rate, significantly higher than the existing slogan.

Comparative Effectiveness of New Slogans

Additional proposed slogans include “Gambling comes at a cost” and “Gambling can grip anyone,” both of which outperformed the current campaign in terms of impact and memorability. These messages aim to underscore the broader spectrum of gambling-related harms, extending beyond mere financial losses.


Empirical Support for Change

The study also highlighted the potential of incorporating a distinct GambleAware health warning in 30-second TV ads. Such standalone warnings were found to be twice as effective as the current slogan in directing viewers towards support resources.

Stakeholder Insights

Dr. Raffaello Rossi, a marketing lecturer and co-author of the research, emphasized the urgency for stricter gambling ad regulations that highlight the addictive nature of gambling. Sam Starsmore, a survivor of gambling harm, echoed this sentiment, stressing that the current regulatory framework and messaging had failed to provide him with the necessary support during his struggle.

Industry Response and Regulatory Implications

Despite the significant expenditures on advertising by gambling operators, there is a consensus among stakeholders like Starsmore and Rossi that regulatory enhancements and better signposting to support services are critically needed.

GambleAware’s Stance and Recommendations

Alexia Clifford, GambleAware’s chief communications officer, reiterated that gambling harms should be recognized as a serious public health issue. She advocated for replacing the industry-driven ‘Take Time To Think’ slogan with more forceful health warnings that truly reflect the dangers of gambling.


Conclusion: A Call for Proactive Measures

As GambleAware spearheads this initiative, the call for reform is clear. The proposed changes in advertising practices are not just about altering perceptions but are pivotal in safeguarding public health. It is imperative for regulators, operators, and policymakers to heed these recommendations and commit to advertising that prioritizes consumer safety and informed decision-making.

Engage with the ongoing discussion on safer gambling practices, support legislative changes, and promote a culture of responsible gambling. Your awareness and action can drive the shift towards a safer gambling environment in the UK.

Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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