Social media plays an important role in the marketing and advertising efforts of all industries, especially in the gambling industry. In fact, online betting companies have been extending its reach even to young adults who frequently use their social media accounts. According to research, their marketing efforts which include free bookie bets, have prompted fears that they are encouraging young adults and teenagers to gamble.
Promotion through Social Media
In an exploratory study conducted by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, gambling operators in Australia have active social media accounts. As a matter of fact, majority of them have Facebook page. Other social media networks such as Twitter, YouTube and Google+, are used by these companies in promoting their businesses and the industry as well.
Based on the same study, the type of content that these operators post on their social media accounts range from their gambling products to betting tips and sports events. Some also update their followers on competitions and promotions.
Social Media and Gambling
Due to the growing number of social media users, gambling companies have digitized and incorporated gambling on social media. Online gambling-themed games, such as social casino games, which are available mostly on Facebook do not require payment but instead offer in-app or in-site purchases of extra items, digital money, skills level-up and the like.
According to an Australian poll, almost one-third of the respondents had played these type of games in the past months. This may be attributed to the fact that social casino game operators exploit social media in advertising these games. Some even promote these games as “addictive.”
Effect of Social Media and Gambling
Research shows that social media use of gambling operators in promoting their business does not instigate the gambling problems of most users. However, their content and the use of social media in general prompts social media users to gamble, which may worsen the users’ pre-existing gambling problems.
Since there are no strict regulations regarding gambling advertisements in social media, it becomes easy for gambling operators and companies to promote on sites such as Facebook. Therefore, it is a must that austere measures be put in place in order to protect vulnerable users, such as migrants and the youth, from being exploited and exposed to gambling.