University of Sheffield reports restricting gambling advertising may reduce harm

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Researchers at the University of Sheffield showed a direct relationship between the people exposed to gambling advertisements and their intentions to gamble on a regular basis.

In order to examine the connection between advertising and gambling, the researchers examined eight previous studies in this area that contained data from more than 70 study papers.

The studies done in this area have repeatedly discovered a causal link between exposure to advertisements for gambling-related goods or brands and higher gambling intentions, as well as higher gambling behavior.

Evidence of a dose-response effect was discovered in the study, which was published in the journal Public Health. Greater exposure to advertising increases participation, which raises the chance of financial harm, according to the official release.

Additionally, there was evidence that gaming could have an adverse effect on children, teenagers, and those who were already at risk due to their previous gambling behavior and being the most vulnerable people.

Professor of Public Health at the University of Sheffield, Elizabeth Goyder said, “Gambling-related harms represent a significant potential driver of health inequalities, because those already experiencing financial, social and mental health disadvantage are also at increased risk of experiencing gambling-related harm. And those already at risk of harm from their gambling have consistently been shown to be more likely to be prompted to gambling by exposure to advertising.”

“The substantial evidence we found in all the recent reviews of evidence in this field supports the use of restriction to reduce exposure to gambling advertising. This is particularly likely to reduce risk of harm to children and young people, and adults who are already vulnerable to gambling-related harms. Such restrictions could reduce not only overall harm but also mitigate the impact of advertising on gambling-related inequalities,” she added.

To have an unbiased report on the effects of gambling advertising, the funding for the report came from City Hall in London.

The report is mostly composed of surveys and qualitative investigations of self-reported exposure, attitudes, and behavior in the general population; researchers are aware that the evidence basis for the study does have limitations.