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Betting giants not doing enough to promote safe gambling via Twitter: study

File photo dated 05/02/08 of a croupier with a roulette table. Gambling firms are not doing enough to promote safe betting on Twitter amid the "sheer scale" of their marketing, according to researchers. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday May 2, 2019. Operators promote safe gambling messages just over once in every 100 tweets (1.6%), researchers from Northumbria University found. See PA story CONSUMER Gambling. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

By Josie Clarke, Press Association Consumer Affairs Correspondent

Gambling firms are not doing enough to promote safe betting on Twitter amid the "sheer scale" of their marketing, according to researchers.

Operators promote safe gambling messages just over once in every 100 tweets (1.6%), researchers from Northumbria University found.

Researchers checked the Twitter accounts of the 40 highest-grossing British gambling operators and selected five with the highest number of followers - Paddy Power, Bet365, SkyBet, Coral and William Hill.

A similar method was followed with gambling affiliates - third party firms that receive financial incentives to attract new customers such as FootyAccumulators or Football Super Tips.

The researchers found "very little attention" was given to safer gambling messages by gambling operators, while only one affiliate made a post primarily referring to safer gambling.

Researcher Scott Houghton said: "The online gambling industry in the UK is now the largest gambling sector in the country.

"Tweets made to promote safer gambling behaviour were sparse for gambling operators and even more so for affiliates.

"Our findings will be used to advise current British policy to ensure gambling is marketed in a way which allows for recreational enjoyment and also protects the vulnerable."

Pic by Andrew Milligan/PA Wire