Majority of Canadians want a nationwide ban on sports betting commercials: poll

Almost 60 per cent of Canadians believe that a nationwide ban on sports betting commercials needs to be implemented right away, according to a new poll.

The poll conducted by Maru Public Opinion found that seven in 10 Canadians want current athletes and celebrities’ banned from sports gambling ads while 66 per cent think the commercials should not be allowed during live sporting events.

A majority, 75 per cent, of the people surveyed believe there’s a need to protect youth from these kinds of commercials and marketing and 72 per cent say they fear that many young adults will go deep in debt with the online sports betting that is currently available.

Of those polled, 62 per cent believe sports betting owners were not acting responsibly with their ads and a little over half believe sports betting needs more government oversight and regulation.

One in six Canadians say they have wagered money on an online betting platform for a professional sporting event or game, with 33 per cent being young Canadians compared to 17 per cent for those 35-54. Among men, 27 per cent said they had wagered money compared to just seven per cent of women.

A quarter of those polled say the ability to bet on sport makes them want to watch sports more often.

Sports betting became legalized in Canada in 2021 and remains illegal in 12 U.S. states.

The poll comes as Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter is under investigation by the NBA for manipulating his on-court performance for bettors who could benefit financially from knowing he would do so. 

This survey was conducted between Feb. 7 and 8, 2024, among a random selection of 1,534 Canadian adults who are Maru Voice Canada panelists. The probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

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