UK Study Provides Insight into New Threats to the Vulnerable of Aggressive Marketing in the Regulated Market

Lee R. - January 30, 2019

A study of young people reveals a potential culture of addiction in the UK which needs to be tackled.

Has the promotion of gambling online created a new culture of gaming in a generation of young men?

Dire Suggestions

A new study suggests that this phenomenon has led to severe consequences for many among this age group already.

University of Bath researcher Dr. Darragh McGee has concluded the debilitating effects have come about as a result of increasingly aggressive marketing and sponsorship campaigns on the part of gambling companies since the relaxation of gambling restrictions by England's then ruling Labour Government in 2005.

Vulnerable Young

The study results were culled from two sample groups of football fans in the 18-35 age group, respectively based in Bristol and Derry. The British Academy-funded project further reported that many participants acknowledged being incapable of watching football matches without placing multiple bets, holding over 25 accounts with different online gambling operators, and being unable to talk about sports with friends unless it involved betting.


Further, losses online are not experienced as the loss of real money because there is no physical interaction with the funds, with bets being placed anywhere via mobile without going into betting shops.

Addiction is particularly salient in victimizing the vulnerable with participants acknowledging a compulsion towards gambling as a viable alternative (or option) to gaining wealth or social status, and ending up completely devastated when they come out of the illusion, however and whenever it occurs.


To curb the aggressive online presence, major online gambling operators in the UK agreed to what is called a voluntary “whistle-to-whistle” TV advertising ban during live sports events broadcast on TV.

Betting Losses

The UK Gambling Commission reports that for the period from April 2017 to March 2018 UK punters lost a total of £14.4 billion, constituting a concerning increase from the £13.8 billion spent the previous year period. Internet play was responsible for £5.3 billion of the loss.


This provides a direct look at the underside of marketing and play. Hopefully this study can help to spur more effective measures and protections to prevent vulnerable groups in the UK from playing, and separate healthy gamers from addicted players who need help and added protection from the ease of play that mobile and online channels offer in the Age of Technology.



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