Should Television Advertising of Online Gambling be Banned?

August 12, 2014

Should advertising for online gambling be banned? That topic is being debated in the U.K, where opponents (who conveniently happen to be connected to real world casinos) say they are not concerned about losing market share to online casinos, but rather that they are worried about the effect online casinos might have on society; namely on the problem gamblers on children of said society. How noble of them. Should New Zealand be similarly worried about online gambling ads?

Their first concern being raised by the United Kingdom Gambling Association relates to children, opining that if they see an ad for online gambling, they will be prone to engage in it, and that online casinos do little to regulate the age at which people must be to play. While this is slightly true, it’s only true insofar as creating an account goes. Actually withdrawing money from an online casino does require valid photo identification to be submitted to the online casino in most cases. Besides, a child should not have access to a credit card or other means to fund an online casino account and for it to potentially become a problem in the first place.

Their second contention is that problem gamblers will have a safe haven to play all day and lose all of their money. Despite that assertion, research has shown that the problem gambling charge against online gambling is a misconception, and that players are neither more likely to play longer online than they are in the real world, or that players at online casinos will become problem gamblers at a higher rate than they would for any other form of gambling.

The question should not be directed solely against online gambling; the question should be whether the country in questions will allow gambling advertising at all, not which forms may be better or worse than another.


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