As Everyone Moves Inside, Children are Becoming More Vulnerable to Ads then Ever Before

Published April 17, 2020 by Lee R

As Everyone Moves Inside, Children are Becoming More Vulnerable to Ads then Ever Before

Could any demographic data that does not reflect decreases in youth engagement lead to blocking while everyone is stuck inside?

Recently, a Twitter advert reminded anyone stuck at home that web-based gambling allowed them to “play in your pyjamas.”

New Report on Children

A new report reveals how children are becoming susceptible to online gaming play and advertising, citing TV advertising; social media; and the influence of family as factors most likely to lead young people to gamble--and heightened in the Covid-19 lockdown.

Increased Exposure

The Ipsos Mori and the University of Stirling study found an astonishing 96% of people aged 11-24 more likely to bet as a result of seeing gambling market messages in the last month.

History of Ads

The legalisation of online gambling in 2005 led to an upswell in ads and broadcasts.

Only last year did more stringent limitations finally set in, with UK operators agreeing last year to impose “whistle to whistle” bans on television ads during sport.

The Twitter Threat

The study estimates up to 41,000 UK followers of gambling-related accounts on social media platform Twitter are under aged 16 with 6% of followers of “traditional” gambling accounts found to be children.

Competitive Video Betting

The spillover seems to come from eSports and competitive video gaming: at gambling sites punting on these events, the percentage of youth on gaming accounts jumps to an even more alarming 17%.

MP Harris Chimes In

Already concerned that “Gambling has been normalised to such an extent that young people grow up thinking this is a harmless activity,” UK Labour MP Carolyn Harris called visibility of gambling on social media platforms while people are stuck at home for the coronavirus lockdown “even more terrifying.”

New Measure Suggested

As chair of a cross-parliamentary group of MPs, Harris has called for betting firms to jointly impose a £50 daily cap on wagers during the lockdown.


While this measure is an important step in the right direction, it may prove to be just a drop in the bucket as so many people are forced online in the lockdown.

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