Published: July 4, 2024

National standards needed for sports betting ads, researchers say

Researchers are joining the call for national advertising standards to help dull the steep incline of gambling — especially in sports. 

After Legalization In 2021, and despite Ontario being the only province to develop a private market, advertisements for sports betting Have Flooded TVs And Sports Stadiums.

According To IGaming Ontario (iGO) — the agency that oversees that province's online gambling — $63 billion was wagered on online sites registered in Ontario in the last fiscal year, nearly doubling the previous year.

About 15 per cent, or nearly $10 billion of that, was in the category that includes sports betting.

iGO and Deloitte said Governments Took In A Combined $1.2 Billion In Revenue in that 2023-24 fiscal year from online gaming while "displacing" unregulated sites and services.

That entertainment and money is balanced out by the health risks.

"Gambling harms are much broader to a lot of people: [many] encounter a lot of financial challenges, relationship difficulties, some health issues and certainly some psychological challenges when they become too involved in gambling," said Matthew Young, Co-Author Of A Recent Report published by the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse and Addiction. 

He added that research shows that gambling is involved in many cases of suicide, though it is difficult to determine whether it's the sole cause or a contributing cause. 

The centre's report recommends clear, consistent national standards with guardrails around where, when and how often sports betting ads can run, plus specifically taking a portion of the money made and putting it back into reducing its health risks.

There's also A Bill Working Its Way Through The Senate that calls for establishing national rules.

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