Responsible marketing and advertising in gambling: a critical review

Adrian Parke, Andrew Harris, Jonathan Parke, Jane Rigbye, Alex Blaszczynski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Marketing and advertising play a significant role in the adoption of attitudes and societal norms, which have been shown to have a direct impact on behavioural intentions, ultimately leading to behavioural execution. Concurrent with other attempts to inform policy strategy with respect to harm minimisation in gambling there is a paucity of evidence pertaining to the impact that gambling advertising has on gambling behaviour, gambling-related harm, and the efficacy of advertising regulations to minimise harm. There appears to be an overwhelming portrayal of gambling as a normative, legitimate social activity, at the expense of highlighting the potential risks involved. Furthermore, new marketing techniques utilising the social media platform are able to instil emotive and positive attitudes towards gambling brands and products, as well as enabling consumers to widely share and recommend gambling products across their online community, sometimes exposing under-age and vulnerable populations to gambling. The following paper critically reviews existing research investigating the impact of current gambling advertising and marketing campaigns on both vulnerable (i.e. adolescents and problem gamblers) and normal adult populations, looking specifically at the impact of exposure, the positive framing of gambling, and the transparency of marketing techniques. It is concluded that marketing and advertising in gambling needs to facilitate more informed choice for consumers, and a more balanced approach in the framing of gambling. It is suggested that risk information is presented asynchronously to gambling promotions, as opposed to being delivered as peripheral information, and moreover future strategies need to be based on robust empirical evidence demonstrating the impact of responsible gambling advertising and marketing on behaviour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Gambling Business and Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Gambling advertising
  • Harm minimisation
  • Informed choice
  • Social responsibility
  • Virtual experiential marketing.


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