RGC teams up with thinktv for new Responsible Gambling PSA

Ad mimics existing gambling ads, but with a much different message

Even with stringent market limitations on inducements, Ontario remains a hotbed for sports betting and online casino marketing. With the drastic uptick in commercials for the products, the Responsible Gambling Council (RGC) hopes to inject a responsible gambling message into a landscape filled with big, glamorous promises.

RGC worked with thinktv to create the following PSA, which riffs on the look and feel of operator commercials, but sends a very different message:

“With the rise of online gambling and sports betting advertising in Ontario – and across Canada
– we recognized there was a need to help the public understand the sensationalized ads we’re
seeing on TV don’t necessarily reflect reality, said Shelley White, CEO, RGC. “It is important for
everyone to learn and understand the risks involved when gambling in the online space and
how to minimize those risks when playing online. This campaign is more important than ever as
new operators continue to enter the market. We are proud to be collaborating with thinktv and
Canada’s broadcasters to deliver critical responsible gambling messages to the public so that
people can make informed decisions if they gamble.”

The choice of echoing what current gambling ads look like was a deliberate one. Here is the explanation from the release:

“This approach was taken to grab the attention of new and recreational gamblers who may not be aware of the risks involved with online gambling.”

The ad, which will launch in the next few weeks, drives users to access the website KnowTheRisks.ca, which provides information about responsible gambling tools and strategies. The plan is to originally air the ad only in Ontario, but there is potential for it to expand to other provinces in the future.

“We are delighted to work with RGC to support ongoing player protection initiatives with our
member broadcast networks. There is an opportunity for us all to work together to ensure
Ontarians receive a balanced message when it comes to online gambling and sports betting,
said Alan Dark, Chairman, thinktv. “The broadcast community plays an important role in
shaping the gambling advertising landscape, and we are proud to be leading the charge in a
responsible way to meet the needs of the industry and the public.”

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