Charity calls for gambling ads to carry ‘health warning’

Gambling adverts should carry warnings emphasising gambling’s addictive nature, the GambleAware charity has said.

It has called for the current industry-led slogan ‘Take Time To Think’ (TTTT) to be replaced with a “more compelling” message on gambling harms.

According to the National Gambling Helpline, the number of people seeking help for addiction rose by over 10,000 last year.


An independent survey commissioned by GambleAware found that the industry adopted strapline, TTTT, “is too generic and does not necessarily relate to gambling”.

Researchers found that alternatives including ‘Gambling comes at a cost’, ‘Gambling can grip anyone’, and ‘Gambling can be addictive’, were more likely to encourage people to “self-appraise their gambling”.

Dr Raffaello Rossi, a lecturer in marketing at Bristol University and co-author of the research, said: “In the absence of strict gambling marketing restrictions, it is absolutely vital that we see warnings on gambling advertising that highlight the addictive nature of gambling”.


Reflecting on the findings, GambleAware CEO Zoë Osmond said researchers had concluded that the message currently being promoted by betting companies “does not give people a reason to change their behaviour”.

“In particular”, she continued, “it failed to land the jeopardy of gambling harms”. She also noted that the suggested alternatives “were found to be significantly better than ‘Take Time To Think’ on a range of metrics, such as cut-through, memorability and importantly, behaviour such as setting a deposit limit.

“As a result of this evidence we are recommending the use of these three new health warnings to replace the current messaging”.

Increasing problem

In 2023, more than 52,000 people called the National Gambling Helpline asking for support or counselling, up from around 42,000 in 2022.

Last year also saw 7,000 people installing and using the Gamban app to self-exclude from gambling websites and apps. Once installed, Gamban blocks the user’s access to online gambling, and also provides advice on how to combat and break gambling addiction.

And from April 2022 to March 2023, there were 1,389 referrals to NHS gambling clinics. This continues the steady rise over the last three years, which saw 785 referrals in 2020-21, and 1,013 in 2021-22.

Also see:

Ex-Scotland manager: ‘The shame and lies of gambling convinced me to finally stop’

Man who started betting at 8 years old gambled away over £100k

‘I went to jail for stealing £1.3m to gamble away’

Golfing ace: ‘Gambling addiction left hurricane-like trail of destruction’

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