Advertising Rules Unwritten in Ontario as Ads go Full Throttle - Newstbt.com
In Ontario, sports betting advertisements have become commonplace, and according to some, the problem has become quite severe. In response to this concern, a Canadian senator has proposed national legislation to address the large influx of promotional materials.
Canadian Senator Martha “Marty” Deacon is pushing for new regulations to regulate sports betting advertisements in Ontario and across television. Deacon, who represents Waterloo region, commented on the sheer quantity of “annoying and dangerous” ads, noting that they often feature celebrities and athletes and are “very attractive, and addictive and sensational,” which may lure younger, more vulnerable individuals. In light of this, Deacon is suggesting a national framework that would limit or even prohibit celebrities and athletes from appearing in sports betting ads and reduce the ads in certain locations.
The discourse surrounding gambling and its prolific presence in advertising has risen exponentially, exceeding most forecasts. Although this may be unexpected, it has happened quickly and should be promptly addressed. Deacon suggests a similar approach to the regulations that govern the marketing of alcohol and tobacco. The result of a highly profitable industry is a plethora of adverts.
Too Many Ads in a Thriving Market
For the fiscal year 2022-23, Canadian sportsbooks experienced a prosperous ending with revenue totaling $433 million (CAD) from approximately $7 billion in accepted bets. This was the first year including single-event wagering, which Deacon supported in order to properly regulate the sports betting industry. Basketball was by far the most frequently bet sport at 29%, followed by soccer at 15% and football at 13%, with hockey trailing behind at 9%. Hockey sports betting, however, began during the latter part of the 2021-22 NHL regular season. Many sports bettors have noticed an abundance of sports gambling advertisements on television, with some commenting that it feels “like it’s being flooded.” A hockey fan in particular noted that during Game 1 of the Toronto Maple Leafs versus the Florida Panthers playoff series, there were eight minutes or more of sports gambling ads.
Nearly two dozen teams in the UK Premier League agreed last Spring to end their practice of having ads on player jerseys near the end of the 2026/26 season. This revelation comes on the heels of increasing recognition of the potential dangers of seeing too many ads when using mobile phones, in addition to ads seen on TV. Deacon believes that sports betting companies must be socially responsible in their promotion of products, as some fans have voiced, and they must remind people gambling can lead to financial problems. The momentum for stricter advertising rules seems to be gaining steam.
Advertising Rules Push Gaining Momentum
The University of Toronto’s Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education has launched a campaign, known as “Ban Ads for Gambling,” that is supported by retired Olympic speed skater and cyclist Clara Hughes. While she does not call for a total ban, Deacon believes that certain regulations should be put in place. “It would be great if it could be finished within a year,” Deacon states, expressing her concern about the harmful effects which the ads may have on young children. In order for the Senate bill to come into effect, it has to undergo a second and third reading before being sent to the House of Commons for Members of Parliament to make a ruling.
The professional casino player, author of books and articles about gambling, creator of gaming content. I study this field and am happy to share my knowledge and skills acquired over the years with everyone