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Over a quarter of those engaging with esports betting tweets are children under the age of 16, according to a new report which suggests esports gambling may be as attractive to children as the computer games themselves.
Conventional bookmakers are now offering esports odds in response to the growing popularity of professional competitive playing of computer games, as illustrated by the first ever Fortnite World Cup in America which had a $30 million prize fund.
New - Research - Today - August - Demos
New research, published today [20 August] by Demos and the Department of Management at the University of Bristol, reveals 28 percent of those retweeting or replying to esports betting tweets in the UK are children under 16.
This is over five times the amount responding to traditional bookmakers (five percent). The figure rises to a staggering 45 percent for esports worldwide.
Youth - Report - Field - Online - Tweets
The "Biddable Youth" report, which explores this new field of gambling online, analyzed over 888,000 betting-related tweets over a period of nine months in 2018.
Analysis shows 74 percent of esports tweets and 68 percent of traditional sports tweets appeared not to comply with advertising regulations in some way—for example, presenting gambling as an income source or encouraging gambling at unsociable times.
Person - Gambling - Advert - Regulations—but - Esports
Showing a person under 25 in a gambling advert is against regulations—but as most professional esports players are in this age bracket the rules are flouted again and again.
Parents and teachers are likely to be completely unaware of gambling advertising on social media as, through the use of cryptocurrencies, children may be able to place bets without access to a bank account.
Order - Problems - Report - Technology - Companies
In order to tackle these problems, the report is calling for technology companies to make better use of age verification tools and adtech to screen out children from gambling ads, and for regulators to both continue to pursue those breaking the rules and consider tightening regulations.
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