Danish Gambling Authority Launches Youth-Focused Campaign Against Gambling Risks
For the first time, the Danish Gambling Authority has initiated a nationwide campaign specifically targeting individuals under 18 years of age, focusing on the risks associated with gambling.
This groundbreaking initiative comes in light of findings that a significant portion of youth aged 15-17 are engaged in online gambling, and most people with gambling problems start before the age of 25.
The Prevalence of Underage Gambling
Despite most gambling products being restricted to adults over 18, a study by the Danish Gambling Authority revealed that 15% of young people between 15 and 17 have gambled online in the past year.
This trend is also reflected in the majority of inquiries to the StopSpillet helpline, indicating that early gambling often leads to later problems.
The campaign introduces “The One-Armed Bandit,” a fictional character symbolizing gambling addiction. The character is featured in short videos and posts on YouTube and Instagram, humorously depicting how he lures young people into gambling.
Anders Dorph, director of the Danish Gambling Authority, explains that using humor and irony is a strategic choice to effectively communicate with young people.
Social Aspects of Gambling Among Youth
Anders Dorph notes the social nature of gambling among young people, often perceived as harmless. The campaign aims to remind youth of the potential negative consequences of gambling in a relatable and engaging way.
David Minerba, a social media influencer, portrays “The One-Armed Bandit,” with comedian Martin Høgsted involved in content production. The character has profiles on YouTube and Instagram for interaction. Additionally, influencer collaborations will be used to spread the campaign’s messages.
A new website, StyrPåSpillet, has been launched to provide comprehensive information about gambling and compulsive gambling, offering resources for parents to discuss gambling with their children.
Funded with DKK 30 million by the Danish Parliament for 2023-2025, this campaign is part of broader efforts to combat compulsive gambling, focusing on information and awareness among children and young people.
Our Comment on the Article
The Danish Gambling Authority’s proactive approach in addressing underage gambling through this unique campaign is commendable. By using a creative character like “The One-Armed Bandit” and leveraging social media platforms, they are speaking directly to the youth in a language and format they understand and enjoy.
The integration of humor and irony in delivering serious messages is an innovative method that could have a more profound impact on young minds. It strikes a balance between educating about the dangers of gambling and engaging with them in a non-threatening manner.
Moreover, the campaign’s social aspect, acknowledging gambling as a group activity among youth, shows a deep understanding of their environment and peer influences. This holistic approach, combined with the new StyrPåSpillet website and influencer involvement, shows a well-rounded strategy to tackle compulsive gambling from multiple angles, potentially setting a standard for other countries grappling with similar issues.