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Research Project Will Tackle Effects of Gambling Advertisements on Vulnerable Groups in the Netherlands

Eva van Reijmersdal and Hilde Voorveld Eva van Reijmersdal and Hilde Voorveld, Associate Professors at the Communication Science Faculty of the University of Amsterdam, have been awarded a project grant from ZonMw, the Netherlands organization for research and innovation in health, healthcare, and well-being. Scheduled to last two years, the project will investigate the impact of online gambling marketing campaigns and sports sponsorships on vulnerable groups of society. These include problem gamblers, minors, young adults, and people of lower socio-economic status.

As of July 1, 2023, gambling operators in the Netherlands are prohibited from advertising through media outlets, including radio, television, websites, newspapers, and magazines. This ban, however, at least at present, does not extend to online marketing and sports sponsorships.

The project aims to study the advertisements’ impact on individuals who tend to be more susceptible to gambling’s potential harms. As identified by the Dutch government, the ban aims to prevent the most serious implications associated with problem gambling, including psychological and financial issues.

As reported by the University of Amsterdam, Hilde Voorveld explained that the project sought to research the extent these ads reach vulnerable individuals, as well as their impact on their gambling behavior.

As noted by her colleague, Hilde Voorveld, the project also aimed to identify the specific statements that bring about more gambling. The question of whether gambling advertisements enhance the social acceptance of the activity is also a matter of interest for the two associate professors.

The Project Will Include at least 150 Participants from Vulnerable Groups

The Project Will Include at least 150 Participants from Vulnerable Groups As Voorveld and Van Reijmersdal further explained, the project would include no less than 150 participants from vulnerable groups. They would reach out to them through organizations dealing with substance abuse and mental health treatment, such as Jellinek and Trimbos Institute, as well as through schools.

Voorveld and Van Reijmersdal also noted they would cooperate closely with Dr. Merel Walraven. Besides her work as a lecturer in Persuasive Communication, she serves as a researcher and adviser in the sphere of sports marketing at the Kansspelautoriteit.

The research will be conducted through interviews with participants who will share the gambling marketing content they are exposed to, as well as their reactions to it. The project will also make use of data donation and experience sampling. This approach would help the researchers identify the tactics implemented by gambling companies to make their marketing campaigns more appealing.

Ultimately, the project seeks to provide an inclusive representation of the marketing strategies utilized by gambling operators. Furthermore, it aims to investigate their immediate and long-term impact on the gambling behavior of vulnerable individuals, as well as evaluate the social attitudes towards the activity.

Besides Eva van Reijmersdal, Hilde Voorveld, and Merel Walraven, two postdoctoral researchers, Lauranna Teunissen and Priska Breves, will be actively engaged in the research.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.