Anyone who watches sports is used to seeing betting ads during games, but a collaboration between CBC and CBC market British researchers from the University of Bristol found that gambling messages accounted for an average of 21% of each broadcast, based on an analysis that looked at seven games.
market Researchers looked at the gambling company logos, commercials, and sponsors viewers saw during five NHL games and two NBA games broadcast live on television between October 25th and October 25th. The participants were asked to count the number of gambling messages, such as the marked corner and the betting odds displayed on the screen. October 29th.
The average broadcast time for hockey or basketball is about three hours. The research team reviewed footage of all seven of his broadcasts, as well as all available pregame programming, which typically airs for about 30 minutes.
- You can watch the full Marketplace episode “The Big Gamble” on Fridays at 8pm and 8:30pm in Newfoundland on CBC-TV, or anytime on CBC Gem or YouTube.
Their study tallied 3,537 gambling messages across all broadcasts, which is about 2.8 messages per minute, or one-fifth of the total viewing time.
Jamie Wheaton, a gambling researcher at the University of Bristol who co-led the study of NHL/NBA games with Raphael, said: “I'm shocked by the amount of gambling-related messages being bombarded by spectators just trying to watch a game.'' ” he says. Rossi.
More than 90 percent of logos and references were found directly on the playing surface, court or rink side.
FanDuel was the brand that sent the most messages across seven broadcasts, accounting for more than a quarter of all gambling messages surveyed.
Markus Giesler, a marketing professor at York University in Toronto, reviewed the results and said he is concerned about how seamless the integration of sports and gambling has become.
“All of this contributes to the normalization of gambling,” Giesler said. “What we traditionally think of as very dangerous, very dangerous behavior. [is framed] Actually just for fun and as something harmless. ”
Ontario to launch regulated market in 2022
Wheaton, Rossi, and their colleagues did similar work. Count gambling ads This August, during the opening weekend of the English Premier League soccer match in England. They said that over 24 hours of coverage he found nearly five messages per minute and that the ad was “inevitable.”
Ontario is the only province with a regulated market where private gambling companies can operate. Regulated casino and sports betting in all other regions of Canada is handled through provincially operated websites.
Since Ontario launched its regulated market in April 2022, gambling has exploded in the province. iGaming Ontario, which manages this market, reported that players bet more than $14 billion in the second quarter of 2022/23. Since the launch of the regulated market, gambling companies' revenues have more than tripled, from a total of $162 million as of June 30, 2022, to more than $540 million by September 30, 2023. Ta.
Companies like FanDuel offer apps where users can sign up to bet on a variety of sports and play virtual slot machines. iGaming Ontario receives a portion of the revenue earned by operators through these activities.
Deirdre Kearney, an addiction counselor with Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Services in Hamilton, Ont., has seen an increase in calls for help since Ontario's regulated market was launched.
“A lot of people are frustrated by the increase in advertising,” Carney said. “It's like watching a hockey game or a football game and not being constantly reminded of gambling opportunities.”
Statistics Canada estimates that in 2022, Two-thirds of Canadians report gambling or playing the lottery in the last year, 300,000 people in Canada are at risk of developing problem gambling habits. (gambling problem It is defined as gambling that begins to have a negative impact on a person's life. )
For Noah Vinberg, a recovering gambling addict and lifelong sports fan, avoiding gambling ads is impossible. The onslaught always threatens to drive him back to gambling.
“I'd be lying if I said it wasn't,” he said.
Carney describes the recent shift in people from trying to control their betting habits at physical casinos to struggling with the temptations of Internet gambling.
“Suddenly you have something completely different, and in many cases young men are making sports bets online,” she said.
FanDuel does not provide comments. market It deferred a response to the Canadian Gaming Association regarding the ubiquity of advertising messages. Paul Burns, CEO of CGA, which represents many gambling operators in Canada, said FanDuel is “a big brand and very popular in the market.”
He said messages about gambling are “part of branding and advertising,” and that FanDuel promotes them “within the confines of our leagues and broadcast partners, who set the parameters of what is allowed.”
Burns said he doesn't think the overall number of messages is unreasonable, arguing that it's no different from advertising practices in other industries.
“This is a legal, regulated industry,” he said. “There is a high level of surveillance.”
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) stipulates that advertising must include responsible gambling messages “where effective.”
In this study, Wheaton and his research team found that some of the gambling messages they saw during NHL/NBA games included reminders that you must be 19 years or older to gamble, as well as messages to help solve gambling problems. found that fewer than 3 percent included directing viewers to resources.
Burns said Ontario operators are now required to meet “minimum spending on responsible gaming,” a policy introduced after the first year of the regulated market. He said he expects to see these changes soon.
“The gaming industry knows that people have control issues with our products,” Burns said. “There is always more we can do and we will continue to do so.”
Wheaton reviewed Ontario's gambling regulations related to the games he and his team studied. He said the regulation is “ineffective in regulating the current amount of advertising.”
Some of Ontario's regulated gambling brands use celebrities and athletes in their ads. For example, Sports Interaction features NHL players Leon Draisaitl and Mitch Marner in a commercial promoting the company's online sportsbook.
market We reached out to leagues and broadcasters, but no official comments were received from the NBA or NHL.
CBC aired two of them. hockey night in canada The analysis includes games, said Rogers Sportsnet, which holds national NHL rights and manages advertising.
in a statement to marketRogers Sports & Media, which owns Sportsnet, said AGCO reviews and approves all sports betting-related advertising that airs on its television channels. “We want our viewers to enjoy sports betting safely and responsibly and will use some of our broadcast time to share messages about responsible gaming and how to get help if you need it. We're sharing a message.”
Bell Media, which owns TSN, also said it follows the standards set by regulators, adding that “responsible gaming is a key element of TSN's approach to sports betting content.”
One of the people, who requested anonymity, said: market This finding seems to be overstated and means that counting each logo is not the right way to think about how to limit advertising overexposure in this area.
- Do you have a story you think the marketplace should investigate next? Write to us! email@example.com
Following public pressure from a variety of groups, including mental health and responsible gambling advocates, the AGCO will ban the use of athletes in gambling advertising from February unless they promote responsible gambling messages. do.
Giesler says this is a start.
“Separating athletes from gambling marketing is an important first step,” he said. “That's not the only step.”
Mr Wheaton says this does little to address the volume of gambling-related messages, including those directly linked to links and courts.
in a statement to marketThe AGCO said it has “important advertising rules in place for gaming operators to ensure that advertising content is truthful and responsible” and added that “advertising will be moved to regulated gambling sites”. “It plays an important role in addressing one of the government's key objectives: Meets high standards of player protection and blocks access for minors. ”
Mr. Vineberg, who still watches sports, developed a strategy to avoid such ads. This includes starting a conversation with someone about something unrelated while a commercial is playing or taking your dog for a walk during a sponsored segment.
But he admits that it is harder than ever for people with gambling addictions to avoid temptation. His advice? Let's talk about it.
“I texted my wife every time I had a thought. [gambling] “It was really helpful to me,” Vineberg said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling addiction, seek help here.