New data from the UK Gambling Commission has shown that thousands of children are being exposed to adverts for unlicensed, e-sports gambling. This is through their exposure to social media where they are able to see adverts which break the advertising regulations.
Researchers have studied over 800,000 tweets relating to gambling and betting on E-sports. The data showed that over 41,000 accounts, belonging to children under the age of 16, have been able to interact with these tweets.
It’s been found that children were particularly likely to respond to advertising regarding e-sports. This type of gambling accounted for 28% of all interactions by users.
Authors at the University of Bristol, who carried out the survey, have called on companies and social media to improve their age verification tools. This is to ensure children are unable to view adverts relating to any forms of gambling.
The UK Gambling commission have estimated that around 55,000 children currently living in the UK could have some form of gambling problem.
Fruit machines are the most popular type of gambling amongst children, and for many it is their pathway into other forms of gambling. However, bookmakers and online casinos are now being heavily scrutinised for a showcasing their adverts in places where children are likely to see it, such as on social media or during football matches.
It has been proven by researches that children who are exposed to gambling from a young age, have more chance of becoming addicted later on in their lives.
Although the risks of gambling have been widely publicised, only 0.1% of gambling adverts on social media were found to contain warnings about the minimum age for betting.
Many of the social media adverts have clearly ignored the advertising industry’s code of conduct. Around ¾ of the adverts were found to have broken the advertising regulation in some way.