Check out these helpful tips that GambleAware* have gathered from their work with social media platforms to help you avoid unwanted gambling advertising.
Facebook: What you can do to limit gambling ads
It is not possible to remove ads on the platform or from apps, however, you are able to hide them by selecting the down arrow menu or the 'x' in the top right-hand corner of the sponsored post.
In addition, you can adjust your ads preferences to see ads that are more relevant to you. To find more information regarding 'can I block ads' on Facebook and 'how can I adjust my ad preferences', please view this article from their Help Center. Your settings can be found here.
X (formerly Twitter): What you can do to limit gambling ads
Although there may not be any general ability to limit exposure to gambling ads specifically, there are still some options to try.
You can block tweets from individual gambling companies. Click the down arrow and look for the option to "Block @..."
If the tweet is an advertisement, you can in the same menu select "I don't like this ad"
You can also select "Why am I seeing this ad", and access these two pages using the links provided here.
Here you can disconnect other apps you might have allowed to connect to your X account, and various other options for reviewing and amending the profile advertisers use to target you.
On this page, you can de-select interests which might be a cause for more gambling-related content - one of which is potentially "gambling" but also un-ticking sport related interests could also help.
Un-ticking some or all of the options on this page may reduce the data by which gambling-related advertisers may be targeting you.
You can also choose to mute certain words, phrases, usernames, or hashtags to prevent you seeing content you wish to avoid. You can find out more about how to do this here.
This is not an exact science and amending the settings above will not guarantee you are protected from seeing gambling-related content and advertisements, but it may help reduce the volume.
Google: What you can do to limit gambling ads
Google has provided the following information: See Google's remove unwanted ads external page which outlines the below.
Google does not allow gambling advertisers to remarket to users based on any gambling-related interest category e.g. poker, sports betting, etc.
- Block specific advertisers
This feature exists on Google Search, Maps, YouTube and Gmail when you are signed into your Google account. Instructions for each product listed in above external link. This will allow users to block advertisers such as DraftKings, FanDual, Bet365, etc.
- Mute similar ads
For other display ads that appear when users are on other websites, users can choose to ‘mute the ad’. This will stop other ads very similar to it that have been purchased by the same advertiser, as well as other ads from the same advertiser that uses the same web URL.
- Gambling blocking software
If you, or someone you know, is struggling to stay in control of gambling online, in addition to seeking out help and support you might also consider doing your own informed research into blocking software, which blocks access to gambling websites.
What is blocking software?
Blocking software is something that can be downloaded on to your device (smartphone, tablet, or computer) that limits access to websites or other services available over the internet. There are two types of software available:
- Software designed to only block gambling sites.
- Generic software designed to block a range of websites and that you can use to set permissions or parental controls.
Some devices and internet service providers also allow users to set restrictions without needing to download software, and you can find out more about this by contacting your retailer or provider directly.
You can also look into being excluded from gambling. Self-exclusion means asking one or multiple gambling operators to prevent you from gambling with them for a set length of time, in person or online.
Where can I find blocking software?
The PEI Gambling Support Unit does not endorse, make recommendation or assume responsibility for use of any particular gambling blocking software. We would always encourage you to do your own research, to find out which is the best product for you. Make sure you are aware of this important detail: some blocking software is free, but some do include a charge for use.
*GambleAware is the leading independent charity and strategic commissioner of gambling harm education, prevention, early intervention, and treatment across Great Britain. The information in this Blog post is credited to GambleAware.