The Ethics of Advertising Online Gambling Services
Gambling advertising continues to become more prevalent and complex globally, and now includes targeted content which positively frames betting while simultaneously encouraging riskier bets. Gambling ads are even being integrated into sporting contexts and social media messaging platforms – often including financial incentives.
Previous research indicates that gambling advertising can result in negative consequences, including brand avoidance (Odoom et al. 2019). The purpose of this study is to increase our understanding by investigating which characteristics lead to brand avoidance in casino settings.
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an economical and efficient way to market your business online, yet it comes with some ethical concerns. Marketing entities have created advertisements and websites bidding on highly sought-after addiction keywords and then sending sufferers there without medical or clinical prescreening; this practice must be addressed immediately as an ethical violation.
Digital marketers should prioritize ethics when managing pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns, to enhance customer satisfaction, boost ad performance, and safeguard their company. Adopting ethical practices in PPC campaigns is something that responsible operators like Wildz Casino are keen on ensuring. Doing this helps foster customer trust while preventing misbehavior that could potentially be reported back to search engines – something particularly critical for small businesses which are vulnerable to scams or other unsavory practices.
The Supreme Court ruling on sports gambling has completely altered the industry and it is important to understand how it has been presented. Gambling companies are responsible for controlling images, messages and overall tones used in their advertising campaigns – by doing this they can ensure they meet ethical guidelines when creating ads.
An expanded understanding of emergent gambling marketing is necessary to support regulatory reform and ethical industry promotion. A number of studies have explored its content, delivery and structural features; these investigations have identified a distinct absence of harm-reducer and responsible gambling (RG) messaging; this may be caused by affiliate promotion reliance and/or inability to include this type of info within social media ads (e.g. age restriction or terms and conditions).
Running a gambling business requires executives to weigh their societal conscience against profitability of the business. If profit comes before ethics, alienation of customers and attracting the wrong customers may occur resulting in long-term cost increases and loss of reputation for their brand.
Social media marketing
With the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing sports gambling in individual states, ethical considerations surrounding its production and framing become even more significant. State governments, sports leagues and teams, media companies and betting exchanges all stand to benefit from increased wagering activity; yet their actions and messages also shape consumer perception of this industry.
Research indicates that emergent gambling advertising is expanding globally [1, 2], yet its associated literature base remains relatively limited in volume and diversity. This review seeks to address this by exploring the content, delivery and structural features of emerging gambling advertising. Findings from 23 studies highlighted four sub-themes: 1) Targeted content that positively frames gambling; 2) Odds-related and complex betting-related content; 3) Financially incentivising content; and 4) Risk reduction or harm-reductive content. Studies conducted on this matter revealed that only limited efforts are taken to effectively include harm-reductive messaging within gambling advertising. An analysis of Twitter posts by UK gambling operators and affiliates found that only one percent contained age restriction or harm reduction messaging.
Advertising on television or radio
Advertising gambling products on television or radio can have a detrimental effect on society, leading to alternative platforms being created. Unethical campaigns which prioritize financial gain over integrity may damage an industry's reputation and cause consumers to distrust its brands – this can have long-term ramifications on an online gaming company's earnings.
Studies of gambling advertising have outlined the different forms of content and narratives incorporated into marketing activities for this industry. This includes targeted content that positively frames gambling while overrepresenting riskier betting – both types can be found across sporting and social media channels. Financially incentivising content has also become more diverse over time and usually comes with specific terms and conditions attached.
Even though gambling poses numerous harms, many gambling companies have chosen profit over ethics and integrity when making business decisions involving gambling, leading many Generation Yers to perceive it as irresponsible and corrupt.