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Online gambling industry targets youthful Fantasy Premier League

The booming Fantasy Premier League (FPL) community is attracting the online gambling industry’s attention, leading to concerns about its influence on younger audiences. The FPL platform, enjoyed by both children and young adults, has become a prime target for gambling advertisements, sparking calls for stricter regulations.

A recent BBC investigation revealed the incursion of gambling promotions into FPL-related podcasts, websites, and social media platforms. Fairplay Exchange, a platform for personal bets, was among the advertised offerings. “The FPL Wire” podcast promptly removed gambling ads after exposure. FPL General, associated with the podcast, clarified his lack of control over ad decisions.

Fantasy Premier League, where players form teams of real-world athletes for points based on their performance, has garnered a massive global following. While accessible to those over 13, consent from parents is required for younger participants.

Concerns have arisen as the gambling industry targets the FPL community, with Carolyn Harris MP expressing worry about gambling’s presence in spaces frequented by children. Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) guidelines restrict gambling ads from strongly appealing to under-18s and from associating with youth culture.

This trend extends to independent FPL platforms like Fantasy Football Scout, which featured Bet365 promotions for a fantasy football game with a £500,000 prize pool. Fantasy Football Fix, a major independent FPL site, now enforces a no-gambling-ads policy. Experts view this industry targeting as a strategy to cultivate future customers.

Meanwhile, the ASA’s follow-up to its 100 Children Report acknowledges progress in preventing online gambling ads from reaching minors. As the debate over gambling’s influence within the FPL community unfolds, the tension between industry interests and safeguarding vulnerable demographics continues to escalate.

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