Jamaica’s BGLC orders advertising review amid safer gambling concerns

Jamaica’s BGLC orders advertising review amid safer gambling concerns
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Jamaica’s Betting Gaming & Lotteries Commission (BGLC) has ordered a review into the country’s advertising standards following concerns over the frequency of adverts.

Speaking to Kingston-based publication Financial Gleaner, BGLC Executive Director Vitus Evans explained why the number of adverts is considered to be such a problem for the organisation.

‘We are concerned about the frequency of gambling advertising and whether it is negatively impacting [on] children,” he said.

“We are not concerned about the slogans, but in particular, the volume of advertising and also outside providers advertising in the market.”

Evans added that, at times, gambling advertisements are on the airway “every five minutes on radio and TV”.

Supreme Ventures Limited (SVL), recognised as one of Jamaica’s ‘largest gambling players’, welcomed the consultation, outlining that it promoted responsible gambling when advertising its lottery, sports betting and gaming lounge properties.

During 2021, SVL is reported to have spent JMD $790m ($5.5m) on advertising, tripling its ad-spend budget and media coverage.

The news comes on the back of a successful first quarter for Jamaica’s gambling industry; the sector generated a record JMD $60bn ($400m) in sales between April to June 2022 (Q1).

The Caribbean nation recorded a 50% increase in year-on-year gambling sales, attributed to the strong post-pandemic recovery of lottery promoters and gaming lounges, verticals that generated combined Q1 sales of JMD $53bn (88% of market share).

Lottery sales accounted for JMD $20.9m of that figure, an uptick from Q4 2021 (JMD $16.4m).

Total government revenue from betting, lottery and gaming reached JMD $3.1bn in Q1 2022, growing 24.6% over the comparative quarter of 2021 and 15.7% from Q4 2021.

Government revenue from the lottery sector continued to grow in the first quarter expanding by 7.6% over Q4 2022 and represented 85% of total government revenue. The revenue from the lottery sector was driven by promotional and product enhancements as well as channel expansion (physical retail locations, mobile retail sellers and apps).