Gambling Advertising

Gambling is a popular leisure activity; however, excessive gambling grows into an addiction for an increasing number of people, leading to negative consequences such as financial debts and psychological problems. Advertising for gambling activities is considered a major contextual factor that contributes to the social acceptance of gambling and is considered an important factor contributing to gambling participation and problematic gambling behavior. CEPEC investigates the persuasiveness of different gambling advertising formats (e.g., social media advertising, sports sponsoring, gambling influencers) on consumers’ gambling-related attitudes, intentions and behavior, and which underlying mechanisms can explain this. This research aims to develop insights for public policy and regulatory bodies on the ethical and responsible use of gambling advertising.

Currently, CEPEC is conducting several research projects on this topic:

  • Within Steffi De Jans’s FWO postdoc project, she examines the role of self-control in young adults’ (18-30 years) susceptibility and resistance to digital gambling advertising. Moreover, she investigates the impact of existing and new alertness labels on young adults’ persuasiveness to digital gambling advertising.
  • A research project funded by BELSPO examines how gambling sponsorships are impacting upon people’s gambling intentions and beliefs. More specifically, the research focuses on the link between sponsorships and gambling related harm among a young audience. A collaboration with Sciensano enables us to examine the link between sponsorship exposure and (problematic) gambling behaviors among a representative sample of Belgians. This study will be complemented with experimental studies examining the underlying mechanisms explaining this relationship and a focus group study to examine how minors perceive those gambling sponsorships.
  • An FWO research project aims to examine how sports sponsoring is used as a vehicle by gambling operators, thereby contributing to gambling harms by influencing consumers’ gambling-related beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. The project takes into account the roles of sponsor moral appropriateness perceptions and team identification.

This research is currently guided by Steffi De Jans and Liselot Hudders