Comparative Effects of Differing Media Presented Advertisements on Male Youth Gambling Attitudes and Intentions

  • Imogen O’Loughlin
  • Alex Blaszczynski
Original Article


Gambling advertisements posted on social media websites such as Facebook are subject to few regulations. This study examined the differential effects of traditional print media (newspapers), and gambling operator and peer postings on Facebook on gambling attitudes and intentions to gamble in a sample of 120 male first-year university students. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three conditions; gambling operator posting on Facebook, peer posting on Facebook, and print media. Baseline and post-advertisement exposure gambling attitudes and intentions were assessed online. Gambling attitude and intentions did not differ between averaged peer and gambling operator Facebook postings compared to traditional media. However, gambling advertisements appeared to influence gambling attitudes and medium-term gambling intentions when posted by a gambling operator compared to a peer on Facebook. Gambling advertisements in traditional media and social media are equivalent in their effects on gambling attitudes and intentions. This novel finding suggests that regulations applied to gambling advertisements presented in traditional media ought to be extended to those appearing on social media platforms.


Gambling advertisements Youth gambling Facebook Gambling operators Media 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


Ethics approval was provided by the University of Sydney Human Ethics Research Committee.


  1. Advertising Standards Bureau. (2016). Gambling advertising. Retrieved from
  2. Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211. doi: 10.1016/0749-5978(91)90020-T.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ajzen, I. (2002). Residual effects of past on later behaviour: habituation and reasoned action perspectives. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 6, 107–122. doi: 10.1207/S15327957PSPR0602_02.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Aune, K. R., & Basil, M. D. (1994). A relational obligations approach to the foot-in-the mouth effect. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 24, 546–556. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1994.tb00598.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Australia’s ad market strikes out (2016) Grows 4.5% to a record CY high in uncertain times. (2016, January 15). Retrieved from the Standard Media Index website:
  6. Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2016). 6302.0 - Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2016. Retrieved from
  7. Australian Council of Social Service. (2014). Poverty in Australia 2014. Strawberry Hills: Author.Google Scholar
  8. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  9. Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: a social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  10. Bandura, A., Ross, D., & Ross, S. A. (1961). Transmission of aggression through imitation of aggressive models. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 63, 575–582. doi: 10.1037/h0045925.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Bexley, E., Daroesman, S., Arkoudis, S., & James, R. (2013). University student finances in 2012. Canberra: Universities Australia Retrieved from Scholar
  12. Binde, P. (2014). Gambling advertising: a critical research review. London: The Responsible Gambling Trust.Google Scholar
  13. Boyd, D., & Ellison, N. (2007). Social network sites: definition, history and scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 13, 210–230. doi: 10.1111/j.1083-6101.2007.00393.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Boyer, S. L., Edmondson, D. R., Baker, B., & Solomon, P. (2015). Word-of-mouth, traditional and covert marketing: comparative studies. Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 19, 102–119. Google Scholar
  15. Campbell, M. C., Mohr, G. S., & Verlegh, P. J. (2013). Can disclosure lead consumers to resist covert persuasion? The important roles of disclosure timing and type of response. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 23, 483–495. doi: 10.1016/j.jcps.2012.10.012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cialdini, R. B. (2001). Influence: science and persuasion (4th ed.). Needham Heights: Allyn and Bacon.Google Scholar
  17. Cialdini, R. B., & Goldstein, N. J. (2002). The science and practice of persuasion. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 43(2), 40–50. doi: 10.1016/S0010-8804(02)80030-1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cialdini, R. B., & Rhoads, K. V. L. (2001). Human behaviour and the marketplace. Marketing Research, 13(3), 9–13 Retrieved from Scholar
  19. Cialdini, R. B., & Sagarin, B. J. (2005). Principles of interpersonal influence. In T. C. Brock & M. C. Green (Eds.), Persuasion: Psychological insights and perspectives (2nd ed., pp. 143–170). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Cohen, J. (1988). Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale: Laurence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  21. Dahlén, M., & Edenius, M. (2007). When is advertising advertising? Comparing responses to non-traditional and traditional advertising media. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 29, 33–42. doi: 10.1080/10641734.2007.10505206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Driscoll, W. C. (1996). Robustness of the ANOVA and Tukey-Kramer statistical tests. Computers & Industrial Engineering, 31, 265–268 Retrieved from Scholar
  23. Duggan, M., & Brenner, J. (2013). The demographics of social media users - 2012. Washington, DC: Pew Research Center Retrieved from Scholar
  24. Ferris, J., & Wynne, H. J. (2001). The Canadian problem gambling index: final report. Ottawa: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.Google Scholar
  25. Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd ed.). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  26. Gainsbury, S. M., King, D. L., Delfabbro, P., Hing, N., Russell, A., Blaszczynski, A., & Derevensky, J. (2015). The use of social media in gambling. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia Retrieved from Scholar
  27. Gainsbury, S. M., Delfabbro, P., King, D. L., & Hing, N. (2016). An exploratory study of gambling operators’ use of social media and the latent messages conveyed. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32, 125–141. doi: 10.1007/s10899-015-9525-2.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Guadagno, R. (2013). Social influence online: the six principles in action. In A. Liberman (Ed.), Casing persuasive communication (pp. 321–324). Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing.Google Scholar
  29. Hanss, D., Mentzoni, R. A., Griffiths, M. D., & Pallesen, S. (2015). The impact of gambling advertising: Problem gamblers report stronger impacts on involvement, knowledge, and awareness than recreational gamblers. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 29, 483–491. doi: 10.1037/adb0000062.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hing, N., Vitartas, P., & Lamont, M. (2014). Promotion of gambling and live betting odds during televised sport: influences on gambling participation and problem gambling. Brisbane: Queensland Department of Justice and Attorney-General Retrieved from Scholar
  31. Hing, N., Lamont, M., Vitartas, P., & Fink, E. (2015). Sports-embedded gambling promotions: a study of exposure, sports betting intention and problem gambling amongst adults. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 13, 115–135. doi: 10.1007/s11469-014-9519-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hing, N., Russell, A., Tolchard, B., & Nower, L. (2016). Risk factors for gambling problems: an analysis by gender. Journal of Gambling Studies, 32, 511–534. doi: 10.1007/s10899-015-9548-8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Kirk, R. E. (2013). Experimental design: procedures for the behavioral sciences (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Korn, D., Norman, C., & Reynolds, J. (2010). Youth gambling and web 2.0: towards an understanding of the net generation and how they gamble. Ontario: Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre Retrieved from Scholar
  35. Lee, H.-S., Lemanski, J. L., & Jun, J. W. (2008). Role of gambling media exposure in influencing trajectories among college students. Journal of Gambing Studies, 24, 25–37. doi: 10.1007/s10899-007-9078-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. McGowan, R. (2014). The dilemma that is sports gambling. Gaming Law Review and Economics, 18, 670–677. doi: 10.1089/glre.2014.1875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McMullan, J. L., Miller, D. E., & Perrier, D. C. (2012). “I’ve seen them so much they are just there”: exploring young people’s perceptions of gambling in advertising. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 10, 829–848. doi: 10.1007/s11469-012-9379-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moore, S. M., & Ohtsuka, K. (1997). Gambling activities of young Australians: developing a model of behaviour. Journal of Gambling Studies, 13, 207–236. doi: 10.1023/A:1024979232287.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Moore, S. M., & Ohtsuka, K. (1999). The prediction of gambling behavior and problem gambling from attitudes and perceived norms. Social Behavior and Personality, 27, 455–466. doi: 10.2224/sbp.1999.27.5.455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rein, T., & Baxter, M. (2015). Overview of gambling advertising laws in Australia. Asian Gaming Lawyer, 12–13. Retrieved from advertisinglaws-australia_rein-baxter_agl_spring2015_0.pdf.
  41. Rickwood, D., Blaszczynski, A., Delfabbro, P., Dowling, N., & Heading, K. (2010). The psychology of gambling. InPsych, 32, 11–21 Retrieved from Scholar
  42. Social and demographic differences in news habits and attitudes. (2014. Retrieved from the American Press Institute website: .
  43. South Australian Department for Families and Communities. (2006). Gambling prevalence in South Australia. Adelaide: Author Retrieved from Scholar
  44. Sproston, K., Hanley, C., Brook, K., Hing, N., & Gainsbury, S. (2015). Marketing of sports betting and racing. Melbourne: Gambling Research Australia Retrieved from Scholar
  45. Stangor, G. (2014). Research methods for the behavioral sciences (5th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning.Google Scholar
  46. The Economist Intelligence Unit. (2016). Worldwide cost of living 2016. New York: Author Retrieved from Scholar
  47. Thomas, S. L., Lewis, S., McLeod, C., & Haycock, J. (2012). “They are working every angle”: a qualitative study of Australian adults’ attitudes towards, and interactions with, gambling industry marketing strategies. International Gambling Studies, 12, 111–127. doi: 10.1080/14459795.2011.639381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. (2015) The changing gambling environment. Gambling Information Resource Office. Retrieved from
  49. We Are Social Singapore. (2014). Social, digital and mobile around the world. Retrieved from
  50. Weber, L. (2009). Marketing to the social web: how digital customer communities build your business (2nd ed.). Hoboken: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Zhu, Y.-Q., & Chen, H.-G. (2015). Social media and human need satisfaction: implications for social media marketing. Business Horizons, 58, 335–345. doi: 10.1016/j.bushor.2015.01.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Psychology (M02)The University of SydneyCamperdownAustralia

Personalised recommendations