The Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) announced it has received funding from sports betting and gaming giant Flutter Entertainment to conduct research on marketing and advertising in the online gambling industry.
The news comes just months after Canada's legalization of single-event sports betting and the launch of Ontario's new regulated online market in April, which has resulted in a significant influx of iGaming-related marketing and advertising across all media channels.
This multi-phase independent research study, led by researchers at RGC's Centre for the Advancement of Best Practices (CABP), will explore the current landscape of marketing and advertising on a global scale and provide policy recommendations that address key operating environments such as Ontario and New Jersey.
This multi-phase project will assess evidence from research featuring best-practice potential for responsible marketing and advertising practices as well as insights from regulators and operators that will help identify opportunities for quality improvement. The completion date for this comprehensive research is set for early 2024.
Shelley White, CEO of RGC, said: "Through this research, we not only have the ability to affect necessary changes to our marketing and advertising standards here in Ontario, but also the ability to make great impacts on the harm minimization efforts of jurisdictions all around the world."
"This comprehensive study truly highlights the culture shift that the industry is currently undergoing, and by leveraging our research partners, we can make greater impacts in protecting players and communities," she concluded.
With the rise of sports betting and iGaming in a number of jurisdictions, including Ontario, RGC says a need has emerged to better understand the impacts that marketing and advertising play in this new gambling landscape, particularly in legal, quasi-legal and grey market environments.
George Sweny, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Flutter International, stated: "We saw an opportunity to provide cutting edge thought leadership to the industry. There is a need to better understand the impacts of increased marketing and advertising on all stakeholders."
"This foundational research will help us all make necessary strides towards bridging the gap between best and better practices in an area of significant importance. Leading progress is one of the key pillars of our global Play Well strategy and we are delighted to be working with the RGC to support this important research," he added.
RGC further said it looks forward to continuing its collaborative work with operators, regulators and all stakeholders to develop research that leads to evidence-informed best practices reflecting the evolving needs of players and the industry. Through these processes, RGC will contribute to building "a world-class responsible gambling framework" in Ontario and influence responsible gambling policies and practices around the globe.