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Celebrities in Gambling Ads and the Impact on Children

Published: April 15, 2024

These days, it seems like every other advertisement features a celebrity or athlete promoting a new sports betting app. The ads often seem harmless, but when an actor’s face is familiar to children and adults alike, their influence might have unintended consequences. 

According to an article published by The Guardian, children as young as 12 believe celebrities and influencers who are paid to promote gambling are making the practice seem safe, normal, and fun. These findings are based on a study in which 64 Australian children aged 12-17 were asked about their impression of the use of celebrities and social media influencers in advertisements. Here are some of the most noteworthy answers:

  • A 12-year-old boy responded, “Well, if my idol, my favorite YouTuber, Instagrammer, TikToker is gambling, maybe I should give it a try.”
  • A 13-year-old girl said influencers were making her peers more likely to try gambling.
  • A 15-year-old boy said, “I think if you get shown a bit of their lifestyle and think that if you can win like they are, then you can have that lifestyle that they’re living in the ads.” 

It’s evident that some of the children surveyed are aware of the reality of the situation, but many kids may not be. This is why it’s more important than ever to talk to your children about the risks of gambling, and the free resources from Change The Game Ohio can help. There are many resources like discussion guides available for parents and educators to help start the conversation. Here are a few pointers:

  • Highlight that gambling results in losses more often than wins.
  • Explain that underage gambling is illegal.
  • Talk about the consequences of underage gambling – depression, financial problems, lower grades, and damaged friendships are just a few.
  • Encourage healthy spending.  

Visit the Change The Game Ohio website to learn more. If a child or someone you know needs help, don’t hesitate to call the Problem Gambling Helpline. Trained specialists are available 24/7 to answer your call and offer free, confidential support. Call 1-800-589-9966 or text 4HOPE to 741741. 

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