Gambling is one of those taboo subjects. They’re either not that concerned about it, or they think that anyone who decides to have a flutter is going to immediately be swallowed whole by the earth and receive a one way trip to hell where they’ll be tortured be Beelzebub himself.
That is perfectly OK, as adults, we are entitled to our opinion and entitled to live our life as we wish, as adults that is our prerogative.
However, with 2 out of 3 teenagers feeling bombarded with adverts for gambling it does raise a concern in my head. Especially with the rise in mobile gaming, as a lot of teenagers have mobile contracts that their parents pay for, so the app store could actually be completely unlocked to them.
Teenagers are a bit old to be watching Disney (they don’t advertise gambling) and are more likely to watch things like Daytime TV such as Judge Judy, Jeremy Kyle, Homes under the Hammer and so on, and it seems that every other advert on TV is either for a casino of sorts, or for Bingo.
My other half and I joke that you can put Bingo at the end of any word, and you’d have a legit sounding site. Cream Cake Bingo, Cheese Bingo. Vatican Bingo? Literally there are swathes of them fighting for a slice of the pie, and a lot of them have either fairly childish names (Foxy Bingo for example) or use teenage innuendo in their campaigns, which then makes underager’s more interested.
The same goes for the Bookmakers, who tend to use ‘laddish’ humour and ad campaigns, which again heightens visibility to a demographic.
The UK have banned all kinds of ads over the years, recently it was Junk Food that shouldn’t be advertised until after the watershed. Though banning McDonalds from advertising, or Burger King hasn’t done much to curb our growing waistlines, mainly because teenagers will do what they like regardless, and everyone knows that Mc D’s and Burger King sell Burgers, Fries and Drinks for an affordable price.
What is scary though, is bombarding children with gambling makes it seem like everyone does it, and everyone’s a winner, when in truth this isn’t the case, and that the channels showing these adverts should take some responsibility, especially when it comes to the holidays, where children do watch more TV.
The 9pm watershed in the UK is there for a reason, and that is to protect our young, not expose them to adult pastimes like gambling and alcohol, and when you have these sites being promoted morning, noon and night you are asking for young people to get hooked on what should be adult only pastimes. There are also casino apps all over the stores, that although not real currency, you can buy currency with real money, and these too should be restricted as you could end up with a pretty hefty bill.