If you feel like you are being bombarded by gambling advertisements, there’s a good reason – you are. Gambling ad spend is skyrocketing and companies are utilising sophisticated digital advertising strategies to target and personalise their products and services.

Last year gambling companies spent more than $258 million on advertising in Australia, a 168 per cent increase over 2011 figures, according to SMI numbers. While regulators play catchup with stricter advertising policies for broadcast media, the online sphere remains a relatively unchecked as gambling companies divert growing advertising budgets into digital channels.

Gambling advertisers spent $39.5 million on digital ads last year in Australia, a 14.2 per cent increase on 2016 spend. With stricter regulations on broadcast advertising set to take effect in 2018, including the banning of gambling advertising during daytime television, it is likely the digital share will increase.

While Australian gambling companies thrive, the increasing advertising puts vulnerable groups at greater risk, according to Dr Sally Gainsbury, University of Sydney, Deputy Director of the Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic “Unfortunately, those most likely to respond to online ads are those most vulnerable to developing problems, including with higher problem gambling severity scores, those who spend more money on gambling and gamble more frequently, as well as younger people, males, and those from an ethnically diverse background,” Dr Gainsbury told Which-50. “Although there are regulations about showing responsible gambling messages in advertisements, these don’t appear to apply, or be enforced for online ads.

We see very few responsible gambling messages and warnings in social networking site posts by gambling operators and online ads.” The way gambling companies buy digital ads is changing too. Programmatic ad spend more than doubled in 2017, and now represents a quarter of all gambling advertiser’s digital ad buys, according to SMI. Read more from which-50.com…

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