All About Lottery Advertising and Marketing

How are lottery games advertised?
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  • Author:
    William Monroe
  • Published:

As with any type of government-controlled industry, business, or venture, gambling is subject to stringent rules and regulations that control the types of advertising that can be produced.

In general, all advertising must be reflective of both the regulator’s and the operator’s ethical and moral accountabilities and integrity in running honest advertising that is in no way misleading, deceptive, or false.

The ads must truly reflect the expectations of those participating in lottery games and draws. As well, all advertising must not target any types of persons who might be influenced by such advertising, such as minors or players who have self-excluded themselves. Players and the public must not be depicted in any negative fashion, either.

Advertising and marketing can show people having a good time and winning, but not show it as anything but a chance at winning—and that balance is a tough one to strike.

Avoid at All Costs

There are also specific regulations regarding the advertising or marketing towards minors. For instance, in most cases, minors cannot even appear in lottery advertising, nor can advertisers use any themes or language that appeal primarily to minors.

Advertisements cannot appear near schools, youth centres, or other areas in which minors congregate.

Ads cannot contain cartoons, symbols, or role models/celebrities that mayappeal to minors.

Anything in any way that may even remotely be interpreted as appealing to minors is a no-no.

Players who have self-excluded have to be removed from mailing lists, and operators are forbidden to send them incentives or promotions.

Any advertising or marketing must be stopped for the length of time that the person who has self-excluded has requested.

Nuance After Nuance

Ads cannot suggest or imply that playing the lottery is a requirement to fulfill family needs or obligations or solve family or personal issues.

They also cannot suggest or imply that the lottery is an alternative to having a job, is a financial investment, is a means of reconciling outstanding gambling or financial losses, or any other type of inference that playing longer or more often will increase a player’s chance of winning.

Lotteries cannot be shown to be any way of fitting into a group of peers or friends, placating those who want to a player to buy a ticket, or promise increased social acceptance or inclusion.

Playing the lottery should never be shown or implied that it will make you popular, accepted, or approved of by friends or family.

Message Requirements

Most advertising and marketing must provide a “Responsible Gambling” message, usually at the end of the ad.

The message must make it clear that the player should always gamble responsibly, and in some jurisdictions, include a phone number or web address of a problem-gambling agency that can provide relevant players - or friends or family members of those players - with help or further information.

Other Industries

Since lottery tickets can be purchased at casinos, a lot of jurisdictions - even those that serve free alcohol to their patrons - have strict rules about advertising and alcohol.

Any type of association of alcohol with gambling, such as buying a lottery ticket in a casino environment, must be avoided, as well as any images that show players consuming alcohol while gambling.

The purchase of lottery tickets should never be coupled with a reference to the consumption of alcohol.

Lottery advertising allows operators to bring their message of lottery fun and excitement to current and potential customers. But they must do it in a way that is ethical, practical, honest, all the while avoiding any way of enticing those who are not able, or should not be able, to take part.

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