Research shows that in any year up to 80 per cent of teens will gamble at least once, with 5-10 per cent of teens gambling frequently. Mocking the blitz of sports betting advertisements formed the centrepiece of a push to tackle problem gambling in teenagers.

A TV and digital ad featuring a teenage boy spruiking fake sports bookmaker Kid Bet. The ad is in the same vein as Australian online bookmakers. Messages in the ad include: ‘‘Kids may be exposed to over two hours of gambling advertising per week’’ and ‘‘on average there is one teenager with a gambling problem in every classroom’’.

Researchers have found the gambling ad blitz over the past few years has caused teens to naturally link sport and gambling. The Kid Bet ad is part of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s campaign on under-age gambling. 

Public Health associate professor Samantha Thomas is finishing a study into the influence of gambling marketing on young people. She says most teens in her study thought that marketing of gambling promoted it as ‘‘entertaining, fun and easy’’. ‘‘Education is really important but it can’t exist in a bubble. What we have to do is address the environment and for this generation that includes how gambling is promoted during sporting matches, on television, in the community and online,’’ Dr Thomas said.

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