This study aimed to assess the influences of sport-related gambling advertising on adolescents aged 14-17 years and young adults aged 18-24 years within Australia.
This study used the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to isolate and examine the nonconscious influences of gambling advertising in sport to test the following assumptions:
- That sports and gambling brands would be more strongly associated compared to their respective associations with non-gambling brands and non-sport hobbies (e.g. Australian Rules and bet365 vs Australian Rules and Boeing or bet365 and Painting).
- That there would be a stronger association between gambling and sport when the gambling logos presented were sports relevant (e.g. bet365).
- That there would be a stronger association between gambling and sport when the sports were gambling relevant (e.g. Australian Rules).
Findings of the research
The researchers found that:
- There were stronger implicit associations between gambling and sport than their respective associations with non-sport hobbies and non-gambling logos.
- There were stronger implicit associations between gambling and sport, when the gambling logos were sport relevant.
- Stronger implicit associations were found between gambling and sport when the sports were gambling relevant.
Overall, the results indicate that for young people aged 14 to 24, there is a strong, implicit association between gambling and sport.
Given this, the research team recommend the following:
- The regulation of gambling advertising in sport should include sponsorship and other forms of Incidental Consumer Brand Encounters (ICBEs)
- Evidence based education strategies targeting parents and children should be developed to support increased resilience to the marketing normalisation of gambling with sport
- Improved evidence is needed on the short and long term impacts of gambling advertising and ICBEs on both youth and young adults.
This is an Early Career Researcher (ECR) grant funded under Round 7 of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Grants for Gambling Research Program.
Li, E, Browne, M, Langham, E, Thorne, H & Rockloff, M 2018, Implicit associations between gambling and sport, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Melbourne.