Poll says majority of Canadians want ban on sports betting advertising

March 28, 2024 10:33 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports
March 28, 2024 10:33 PM
  • Mark Keast, CDC Gaming Reports

According to a new poll, most Canadians are looking for significant changes in sports betting advertising.

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Nearly seven in ten, 68 percent, want current team players and celebrities banned from sports betting ads, according to a Maru Public Opinion survey. Canadians are also looking for fewer ads during live sporting events; two-thirds, or 66%, say betting ads shouldn’t be allowed during those times. A majority, 59%, believe a nationwide ban on sports-betting ads needs to be implemented right away.

The survey was conducted in February among a random selection of 1,534 Canadian adults who are part of Maru Voice Canada, an online-market-research community.

A majority (62%) believe sports-betting operators don’t act responsibly with their ads and most (53%) think sports betting needs more government oversight and regulation. An even larger majority (72%) of Canadians surveyed say there’s a need to protect youth from sports-betting ads. One-quarter (24%) say the ability to bet on sports make them want to watch those sports more often.

One in six (17%) Canadians surveyed say they have wagered money on an online-betting platform for a professional sporting event. Most of those are young Canadians (33%). Sports betting is most prevalent in Manitoba/Saskatchewan (25%) and Ontario (20%), followed by Atlantic Canada (20%), British Columbia (14%), Quebec (9%), and Alberta (8%).

In Ontario, advertising standards have been strengthened to restrict the use of celebrities “who would likely be expected to appeal to minors,” the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario said in a statement. Igaming ads like the ones for BetMGM featuring Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid and retired sports stars Wayne Gretzky and Kevin Garnett, are no longer seen in Ontario. Those new restrictions went into effect Feb. 28.

Specifically, Standard 2.03 was modified where operators shall not:

Use or contain cartoon figures, symbols, role models, social media influencers, celebrities, or entertainers who would likely be expected to appeal to minors.

Use active or retired athletes, who have an agreement or arrangement made directly or indirectly between an athlete and an operator or gaming-related supplier, in advertising and marketing except for the exclusive purpose of advocating for responsible gambling practices.