Call for Papers: Special Issue on Marketing Communications & Messaging in Gambling

Marketing and advertising messages are an important element in building a brand, attracting customers, and affecting behaviors. Although gambling as a business and activity continues to grow worldwide, efforts to understand marketing communications and messaging as an integral aspect of gambling are limited, despite the fact that understanding advertising’s role in gambling is critical to operators, policymakers, and consumers.

Gambling includes a range of activities including casino games, sports betting, online betting, lotteries and more. As of 2021, the gross gaming revenue of the gambling industry in the U.S. was almost $53 billion [1]. Globally, the gambling market was estimated at $1 trillion in 2022 and is projected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2030 [2]. Although gambling is a legal activity in many locations, it is still considered a controversial industry that demands discussion, explorations and regulations [3-5]. As such, within the gambling industry, messages play an important role in both communicating the positive aspects of the activity (e.g., social and recreational) as well as communicating risks and responsibility related to gambling (e.g., problem gambling, responsible gambling, etc.). In this special issue, we seek to stimulate and publish theoretically grounded research related specifically to marketing communications and messaging in the gambling field. In addition to research investigating specific challenges and opportunities in marketing communications and gambling, we are particularly interested in interdisciplinary papers that offer strong theoretical foundations to help guide operators and policymakers in developing appropriate responsible gambling messaging to reach consumers and the public at large. Moreover, we are interested in manuscripts that investigate how marketing communications affect behaviors that contribute to consumer well-being and public health.

Guest Editor:

Dr. Marla Royne Stafford, Faculty Scholar, International Gaming Institute; and Professor, Lee Business School

Scope and Topics:

We welcome interdisciplinary papers that offer strong theoretical foundations and employ a variety of research methodologies, including but not limited to experiments, surveys, narrative analysis, case studies, and other qualitative and quantitative approaches. Potential topics include, but are not limited to:

  • - Developing responsible advertising messages with both short-term and long-term effects
  • - Understanding cultural factors that may a play a role in gambling messages
  • - How emotional appeals play a role in the effectiveness of gambling advertising
  • - Advertising and consumer attention, cognition and behavior in gambling
  • - Understanding marketing communications’s role in developing public policy that has implications for gambling and society
  • - Utilizing new technologies (e.g., AI, VR, neuromarketing) to create effective and appropriate message strategies to engage consumers in responsible gambling
  • - Cross-media synergies in creating effective and appropriate message strategies
  • - Gambling advertising and the consumer experience
  • - Message effectiveness in sports gambling behavior
  • - Advertising’s role in responsible gambling and minimizing consumer harm
  • - The role of marketing and advertising in building an operator’s brand
  • - Appropriate language for responsible gambling messages
  • - Contemporary challenges of advertising and betting behavior across gambling types
  • - Effective and appropriate use of loyalty programs in reaching target markets
  • - Ethical and legal issues associated with gambling advertising
  • - The use of social media in promoting gambling behaviors
  • - Promoting gambling experiences through advertising
  • - The impact of gambling special events on consumer choice
  • - Influencers and their role in message acceptance
  • - The use of role models/sport personalities/celebrities, etc. in gambling advertising and marketing
  • - The impact of gambling advertising on under-age youth
  • - Gambling advertising and diversity issues (gender, race, ethnicity)

Submission Guidelines:

Interested researchers are invited to submit their manuscripts at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/grrj/.

Please select the “Special Issue” as the Document Type in the submission process to ensure your manuscript is correctly identified for inclusion in the special issue.

Each submission must include a cover letter to the Editor.

Authors are required to rigorously follow the guidelines and publication criteria set by UNLV's Gaming Research and Review Journal; please refer to https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/grrj/policies.html for details. Full manuscripts will undergo double-blind review as per the usual procedures for this journal.

Deadline for Manuscript Submissions: September 30th 2024

Expected Publication Date: Spring 2025

For inquiries related to the special issue, including questions about appropriate topics, please contact the Guest Editor Dr. Marla Royne Stafford (marla.stafford@unlv.edu).


  • 1. Statista. (2023, December 3). Gambling in the U.S. - statistics & facts. https://www.statista.com/topics/1368/gambling/
  • 2. Yahoo Finance. (2023, May 25). Global Gambling Market to Reach $1.4 Trillion by 2030. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/global-gambling-market-reach-1-170300108.html
  • 3. Investopedia. (2023, December 2). Sin Stock: What it is, How it Works, Pros and Cons. https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sinfulstock.asp
  • 4. Leung, T. C. H. (2019). Legitimacy-seeking strategies in the gambling industry: the case of responsible gambling. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 10(1), 97-125.
  • 5. Tetrevova, L. (2023). Corporate social responsibility in the gambling industry: A systematic review and conceptual framework. International Gambling Studies, 1-21.