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Australian study raises concerns over use of influencers in gambling ads


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A study has found that children influenced by celebrity gambling ads perceive gambling as safe and attractive.

Australia.- A study funded by the Australian Research Council has raised concerns over the influence of celebrity endorsements on children’s perceptions of gambling. The research, conducted by academics from Deakin, Wollongong, and Curtin universities, found that children as young as 12 believed that celebrities and influencers promoting gambling made the activity appear safe, normal, and attractive. 

The study, published in the journal Health Promotion International, also found that many children view the use of stars like former basketball player Shaquille O’Neal in gambling ads as a significant factor in enticing their peers to consider gambling. Some of the 64 children from New South Wales and Victoria who took part said that seeing their favourite YouTubers, Instagrammers, or TikTokers engage in gambling made them more inclined to try it themselves.

Prof Samantha Thomas, one of the study authors from Deakin University, said the federal government should take the concerns of the children quoted in the report seriously. “It was disheartening to hear young people say they were sceptical about government action because of the gambling industry’s political influence,” Thomas said.

The federal government, which is currently deliberating the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling, has been urged to consider implementing bans on gambling ads. However, communications minister Michelle Rowland suggested that implementing a complete ban on gambling ads would be complicated

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