Advertising to sell a product or service is nothing new, but how it’s delivered to customers is rapidly changing. Today, it’s common practice to utilize user-specific data to curate highly targeted ads pushed out through social and digital media. The gaming industry uses additional strategies to reach and retain customers. The widespread expansion of sports wagering in the U.S. has brought this issue into focus, as the gaming industry seeks to secure new customers and retain existing ones. On the surface, it appears this is the free market at play, but gambling is not a risk-free activity. Commissioners may wish to consider additional measures to limit gambling advertising by gaming licensees and their parent companies in Massachusetts in order to minimize harm, particularly to youth and populations at greater risk of gambling-related harms.
This white paper is organized into the following sections: 1) Current Massachusetts statute, regulations and frameworks related to advertising and marketing; 2) An overview of some relevant research findings; 3) A review of select regulations in the U.S.; 4) Considerations for additional strategies and measures regarding gambling advertising.