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Put an end to sports betting commercials? If some Canadians could have their way, that would be the new lay of the land.

According to a recent Maru Public Opinion survey, 59% of Canadians think that advertisements featuring sports betting should be banned immediately.

But how could it be that a multi-billionaire dollar industry whose revenue helps benefit national and local economies could have such fierce opposition when it comes to how it’s promoted?

Let’s take a look at why sports betting commercials are getting some resistance among Canadians.

More: Canada Sports Betting | Mobile Sportsbooks | Sports Betting Sign-Up Bonuses

Who Gambles in Canada?

Who makes up the gambling population in Canada? According to recent reports, 63% of men and 57% of women in the country have reported spending some money on gambling every month.

Currently, there are more than 19.3 million active online gamblers in the country. When it comes to online gambling, 43% of women and 56% of men say that they have gambled online at some point.

With so many active gamblers, why the pushback?

Lack of Accountability 

We’ve all seen the cheeky betting commercials as we’re watching our favorite sporting event. Sometimes, the spots feature A-list celebrities (on that note, 68% of Canadians don’t think celebrities should be in these advertisements). Sometimes, they highlight everyday folks. At any rate, the ads do what they’re designed to do, and that’s appeal to our emotions. 

According to opponents, these catchy commercials come with an egregious lack of accountability. As a matter of fact, 62% of Canadians believe that sportsbooks and operators act irresponsibly with their marketing approaches.

And when it comes to the age group with which this resonates the most, it’s the one that consists of people ages 55 or older.

Protect Children

Another argument that often comes up regarding sports betting is its impact on children and minors. 

In the United States, for example, there are certain measures put in place to protect kids from sports gambling. A person must be at least 21 years old to enter a casino or to use an online book in the US.

Similarly, provinces in Canada restrict gambling to 18 or 19. But even with those restrictions, underaged kids still have access to  marketing materials.

With that in mind, the Maru poll found that 75% of Canadians express that there’s a need to protect kids from sports betting commercials and marketing. 

The age group most likely to lean into the belief that children need to be protected again consists of older adults 55 years old or older.

Fear of Debt

Perhaps one of the most compelling arguments that Canadians expressed in this poll was that they feared sports betting would put adults in more debt. 

However, statistics showed that the majority of people who gamble in Canada do so without being adversely affected.

Future of Gambling in Canada

Sports gambling in Canada is booming. Take Ontario, for instance. It legalitzed sports betting in 2022, and in the first year generated more than $1.48 billion and helped support more than 12,000 jobs

With numbers like those, it’s doubtful the government will move to ban this lucrative industry.

However, as more citizens show disdain for how sports betting is marketed to the masses, we can eventually expect more regulations on how operators reach consumers.

About the Author
Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis

Erica Renee Davis is a sports betting writer with Gaming Today. She graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in journalism and political science. After cheering as an NFL cheerleader for the Atlanta Falcons, Erica moved to Los Angeles where she became the host of Kevin Pollak's This Week In Football digital show. Since then, she has appeared as an on-air host and sports commentator for FOX Bet, Spectrum News 1 SoCal, CNN, HLN, and TEGNA's Daily Blast Live. Erica is a die-hard Georgia Dawg and a hopelessly devoted Clippers fan.

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