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Gambling Regulation and Vulnerability

Malgorzata A. Carran

Since the UK Gambling Act of 2005 was introduced, gambling has stopped being seen, politically and legally as an inherent vice and is now viewed as a legitimate form of entertainment. Gambling Regulation and Vulnerability explores the laws around gambling that aim to protect society and individuals, examining the differences between regulatory rhetoric and the impact of legislative and regulatory measures. Malgorzata Carran finds that although the Gambling Act introduced many positive changes to gambling regulation, it has created an environment in which protection of vulnerable individuals becomes difficult. Carran challenges the existing legislative premise that regulation alone is able to balance the effect of liberalisation for those who are vulnerable.
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Chapter 5: Minors and gambling advertising

Malgorzata A. Carran


‘Isn’t there always a hot girl in or around advertisements’ (14, male) Advertising restrictions’ removal led to a natural but phenomenal expansion of gambling advertising. While claims that the commercial marketing of gambling products leads to harms are strongly contested, the UK legislation implicitly accepts that commercial stimulation of gambling amongst minors is undesirable. Their exposure is limited by requiring the industry to advertise in a manner that is ‘socially responsible’ and does not appeal to minors, and by timing and placement restrictions. This chapter provides a synthesis of existing data to prove that while the existing framework restrains the industry from acute exploitation of vulnerable persons, it does not effectively protect minors. Existing principles fail to eliminate the possibility of emotive appeal, do not address all advertising techniques, and still rely on the transmission theory that does not necessarily correspond to how minors receive, construct and react to such advertisements.

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