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Impact of gambling warning messages on advertising perceptions

Johns, R, J, Dale, N, Lubna Alam, S & Keating, B

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation
March 2017


This research report is an analysis of gambling advertising and warning messages that focused on the following questions:

  • How are legislative interventions used in different jurisdictions of Australia?
  • Is Australian legislation keeping pace with societal expectations?
  • How does the Australian regulatory context compare with other OECD countries?
  • What are the different communication strategies adopted by Australian advertisers?
  • How are the different types of communication strategies related?
  • What aspect of the communication strategies of gambling advertisements has the greatest impact on gambling preferences?
  • How does warning framing impact on perceptions of gambling advertising?
  • Does the interaction of warning messages and advertising strategy vary according to vulnerability?

It was found that the regulation of the promotion of gambling is typically motivated by concerns around the inappropriate targeting of gambling advertising, particularly to children.

However, this is impeded by a focus on industry self-regulation and inconsistencies in regulation across states and territories.

And though warning messages about gambling are often mandated by legislation, there is limited guidance on what should be included in these warnings.

The research suggests that positively framed warning messages may be more effective for moderate risk gamblers, while negatively framed approaches may have more resonance among problem gamblers.

This study was funded by the foundation’s Grants for Gambling Research program.


Johns, R, J, Dale, N, Lubna Alam, S & Keating, B 2017, Impact of gambling warning messages on advertising perceptions, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation,

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