Advertising powerfully shapes public perceptions and behaviour.
In online gambling, this influence can lead to tangible consequences, especially for vulnerable groups like our youth.
CMHA Ontario has always championed responsible advertising to protect the mental well-being of our community.
On August 29, 2023, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) took a positive step in this direction by following our recommendations to prohibit celebrities and athletes from endorsing online gambling.
Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario, said, “We know that this decision will most certainly help safeguard children and youth who can be particularly susceptible to such advertising content.”
She added, “I am pleased to see that the ruling states that language intended to appeal to minors will not be allowed to be used in iGaming advertising, nor will advertising be allowed near schools or other youth-oriented locations. The AGCO has made the right decision in protecting young Ontarians and those at-risk from the potential harms of gambling.”
Quenneville added that the AGCO could go further in reducing the harms associated with problem gambling by prohibiting igaming advertising completely.
“We look forward to continuing to advocate our position to protect Ontarians who are struggling with a gambling addiction,” she said.
The impacts of problem gambling go beyond finances. They range from mental health issues to substance use disorders and, in extreme cases, suicidal ideation, affecting both individuals and families.
Many CMHA branches provide dedicated support for problem gambling.
If you or someone you know needs help, contact your local CMHA branch.
Want to learn more about CMHA’s recommendations to the AGCO? Read the submission here.