New Developments in Gambling Marketing: the Rise of Social Media Ads and Its Effect on Youth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Propelled by the rise of online and social media, gambling marketing has developed extremely fast, moving far beyond traditional techniques. Policy makers need to ensure that children and young people are protected in this space but it is hard for empirical research to keep pace with industry developments. This article aims to provide some direction to policymakers and the scientific community, by reviewing what literature there is on social media gambling marketing and its effects on children. Research suggests that exposure to social media gambling advertising is high in volume and reach; that gambling ads are more appealing to young people than to adults; and that advertising portrays gambling as a harmless and fun activity with few warnings of potential health dangers. Most gambling brands’ followers on social media are under 25 years old and current regulations are not entirely fit for purpose.Social media gambling ads are booming with high rates of exposure to children and young persons. Paid-for ads target specific young people (with tempting but complex financial incentives), whilst organic ads thrive by being shared across youth user networks. The effects on children and young people are worrisome. Gambling accounts are using content marketing, in particular, to create humorous and seemingly harmless posts to target young people who have not fully developed advertising recognition skills. As regulators struggle to keep up, there are concerns that young people are particularly influenced by these ads, and may be lured into gambling.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Addiction Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).

Structured keywords

  • Gambling Harms
  • MGMT Marketing and Consumption


  • Gambling
  • Advertising
  • Social Media
  • Youth
  • Policy


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