UK’s Gambling Slogan Has Little Impact on Betting Behavior

  • When 506 people saw the slogan "when the fun stops, stop", some carried on having fun
  • Researchers asked these people to place small bets
  • 41.3% gambled when they saw the slogan, 37.8% did when they didn't
  • A new slogan campaign is being considered
when the fun stops slogan
Bettors are slightly more likely to place a bet when they have seen the slogan, say researchers

“When the fun stops, stop”

Researchers have found that the warning slogan attached to gambling adverts in the UK is having little effect on whether people gamble.

University of Warwick researchers noted that within the slogan, the word fun is printed much larger than the rest. In their opinion, the word fun failed to achieve its aim of promoting responsible gambling in the experiment, reports the Guardian.

The research was published on Saturday and has already been downloaded at least 19 times. The researchers asked 506 people to place small bets, amounting to nine £0.10 bonuses, after seeing betting adverts. Some of these contained the warning, and others didn’t.

The participants had also all indicated that they were Premier League football fans and had experience in online sports betting.

Aim is to encourage responsibility

Dr Lukasz Walasek, one of the report’s authors, said: “The purpose of the ‘When the fun stops, stop’ warning label is to encourage more responsible gambling behaviour. Yet there is hardly any evidence suggesting that such labels are effective.

The purpose of the “When the fun stops, stop” warning label is to encourage more responsible gambling behaviour. Yet there is hardly any evidence suggesting that such labels are effective.

According to the report, 41.3% of those who had seen the message were more likely to place a bet compared with 37.8% who had viewed an advert without it. Yet, it added that this figure was not significant enough to state that the slogan was being counterproductive.

Gillian Wilmot, chair of the industry’s Senet Group, which is responsible for the slogan, said that the slogan was never meant to discourage gambling. Instead, it was designed to get people to think about their gambling behaviors.

However, she indicated they were considering upgrading the warning message, including shrinking the word fun.

Wilmot said: Last year, we initiated a review of the campaign, informed by a substantial behavioural study, and the new creative will reflect a change to the relative size of the word fun in response to feedback.”

Banning gambling adverts

Last year, Lord Chadlington, a member of the UK’s Conservative Party, said he wanted to see gambling ads banned an hour before and an hour after sporting events.

He was joined by the Church of England, the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, and the Scottish National Party (SNP).

In a step forward aimed at helping to protect young children, a ban on gambling ads came into effect Thursday, with the start of the Ashes cricket series between England and Australia.

A ban on gambling ads came into effect Thursday, with the start of the Ashes cricket series.

Reported earlier this month, the ban will take place five minutes before the start of the match and five minutes after the end of it. Known as the “whistle to whistle” ban, the ad ban will start from 9pm.

The Ashes is the first major UK sport to be subject to the restrictions.

“It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling-related harm. Companies must be socially responsible,” said former culture minister Jeremy Wright.