When I first started this blog I mentioned that I would write about my ‘hopes and fears’ for my son. The biggest fears most parents have are the well documented addictions. Smoking is one for sure but it is alcohol and drugs that most parents worry about.
But there is a fourth threat. One that is not only still socially acceptable but actively encouraged on TV and other forms of media. Gambling!
The Advertising Scandal
While alcohol is socially acceptable it is closely monitored when it comes to advertising. At least it used to be.
When I was growing up adverts for cigarettes and alcohol partially filled the TV screens. Then tobacco advertising was phased out – rapidly becoming non-existent. I don’t recall any for gambling.
Nowadays? Wow! It is so different.
My young son is growing up in a world where gambling is the new sexy. Apart from all the national, state and regional lotteries the airwaves are full of it. And these gambling airwaves are everywhere now due to mobile phones and the internet.
In Spain many of the gambling ads on TV are fronted by top footballers (mostly south American). Other gambling adverts are performed by famous and trusted TV personalities and actors.
In UK I noticed an ad with a very well-known sports star; none other than the global super star himself, Usain Bolt. That advert was for online poker.
These sportsmen – and they are always men – are not only (supposed) role models. They are heroes to young boys. And the not so young too. Many adults, who admittedly should know better, are suckered into the world of gambling by these sports icons.
The obvious question…
How can the politicians ban cigarette advertising and regulate the hell out of beer ads while allowing such hero-worshipped “stars” to advertise gambling?
Gambling like alcoholism, drugs and smoking is a serious addiction. While not directly affecting one’s health in the same way as the other three it can lead to serious problems devastating the lives of the gambler and his/her family. If gets out of hand It can rapidly destroy lives more quickly than booze and cigarettes combined.
Finally they are expressing concern
Recently there have been calls to regulate gambling advertising more strictly. The problem is now being discussed at least.
While I do not (yet) worry about Dani becoming addicted to gambling I do think things are getting out of hand. In further posts I will look more closely at the regulations on all these addictive habits. Comparing the rules then and now.
Meanwhile, ask yourself this question: Do you think there is too much gambling advertising?