Targeting children: Restricting gambling promotions by adapting lessons from tobacco, alcohol, and food

Policy considerations
Friday 27 July, 1135 – 1155


Cassandra de Lacy-Vawdon
Australian Institute of Family Studies,
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University

Advertising and marketing strategies seek to recruit new consumers and “normalise” the consumption of products and associate them with desirable activities. Within sport, this often occurs through embedded advertising within commentaries, programming, and rituals. This is particularly true for industries such as gambling, tobacco, alcohol and food. For instance, one recent study found that 75% of children and 90% of adults perceive sports betting as becoming a normal part of sport.

This study identified gaps in gambling harm prevention and minimisation, and reviewed existing strategies from other areas of public health. Recommendations to address these gaps were developed drawing on existing evidence and expert knowledge from alcohol, tobacco, obesity and physical activity, and blood-borne virus research fields. Working with gambling researchers, six recommendations were developed relating to promotions including improving proof of age requirements, prohibiting gambling promotions during children’s viewing hours and on social media, and disallowing branding of children’s sporting activities and G-rated mobile applications and video games.

These recommendations are designed to protect children from the normalisation and uptake of gambling, and minimising the associated harms. This presentation will explore these recommendations, provide an overview of the evidence used to form these from the tobacco, alcohol and food research fields, and draw out some potential outcomes of implementing these recommendations, based on the evidence.

This project was funded by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.