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Canada: More Kids Are Exposed to Betting Ads, Says Expert

In a recent interview, the director of a leading responsible gambling program in Canada acknowledged the raising concerns about the exposure of children to gambling ads.

Children Are Exposed to Betting Ads, Says Expert

Speaking for CBC, Shauna Altrogge, the director of the Gambling Awareness Program with the Mental Health Association’s Saskatchewan division in Canada, shared her concerns regarding the increased exposure of kids to betting ads. She outlined that simply watching a game with your children may result in them “consuming” betting ads. Altrogge acknowledged that the constant exposure of kids to betting ads may have a long-term effect on children, which is worrying.

“There’s almost a sense of it’s more skill-based. And if I have good team knowledge, good stats on my players, those sorts of things, it will allow me to be successful at it.”

Shauna Altrogge, director of the Gambling Awareness program with the Canadian Mental Health Association

She criticized the way betting itself is presented and revealed that the activity is almost considered a separate gambling type, different from slots, casinos and lotteries. According to Altrogge, the activity is presented as there’s almost more “skill-based” rather than just risk. Rejecting the theory that sports betting is more skill-based, she stressed that the activity involves chance as well as risk.

Speaking about gambling, Altrogge revealed that the activity has become more socially acceptable. Similarly, she pointed out that sports betting also became more socially acceptable. At the same time, Altrogge outlined that it is concerning that the advertising of sports betting platforms increased.

The Sports Betting Market in Canada Grows

Kevin Waugh, one of the lawmakers that helped push forward the legalization of single-event sports betting in the country agreed that the advertising of betting has been excessive lately. He explained: “We don’t get it in Saskatchewan, but when I come here to Ottawa, my Twitter feed is filled with all these ads.” Waugh pointed out that he is shocked by the result and said that betting advertising has “gone overboard.”

It was back in April when Ontario, the most populous province in Canada, launched its regulated sports betting market. In August 2021, Canada legalized single-game wagering for sporting events. Similar to the regulation in the neighboring United States, the regulation and launch of sports betting in different provinces in Canada were left in the hands of lawmakers.