Will new rules slow the flood of gambling ads?

By Analysis by The Big Story Podcast

In today’s Big Story Podcast, if you’ve watched a sporting event — or even tuned into network TV in general — in the past year, you’re probably familiar with advertisements for sports betting. There are millions of dollars being spent in the race to sign up users and encourage them to wager on everything from games themselves to tiny outcomes in real time. And some companies are using superstar athletes like Connor McDavid to do it.

But at least in Ontario, that won’t last much longer. The Alcohol and Gaming Commission announced new regulations in late August that will prohibit athletes from appearing in betting ads. It remains to be seen if companies will search out loopholes, create other ads, or even ramp down their TV buys to accommodate the new rules.

Dr. Timothy Dewhirst is a Professor and Senior Research Fellow at the University of Guelph’s Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics.

“I don’t think the regulations go far enough… There’s also the issue of just even when you are watching a sports game, you constantly see the cue of ‘bet now’, especially those that are more vulnerable to addiction,” said Dewhirst.

So, why are there so many gaming ads anyway, and what does the future hold for the industry as the dust starts to settle?

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