How we helped Manitobans avoid illegal gambling schemes

How we helped Manitobans avoid illegal gambling schemes

With illegal gambling gaining a larger foothold on social media sites, the Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA) needed to find a way to educate and protect Manitobans from illegal gambling schemes - whether planning or playing.

LGCA licences charitable organizations and religious groups to operate games of chance such as raffles, bingo or 50/50. The agency was growing concerned about the proliferation of these unregulated online games taking advantage of Manitobans. They realized bad actors could take advantage of decent people by operating games with no chance of a winner or by directing the winnings to a specific person. These gamblers might not want to come out of the shadows to alert authorities about illegitimate games because of fear of reprisal for their own activity.


We see raffles and draws almost every day on social media. Often, these games are legitimate fundraisers for charitable or religious organizations. Sometimes they might even be set up by someone you know to raise money for a financial crisis that has hit them or someone close to them. That, however, is illegal. Many of these examples are well-meaning and simply unaware of what is legal and what is not when it comes to games of chance. Others are established by individuals or groups who are out to scam people out of their hard-earned money.

Because these games are operated without any oversight or controls, players have no way to know if they are set up to give all players an equal chance to win. Meanwhile, the participants are having fun, thinking they have a legitimate chance to win and might be helping a worthy individual or group. Even if they figure out the game is rigged, they fear they might get in trouble themselves if they report they were participating in an illegal activity.

A simple licence through LGCA helps to ensure all games are fair and fun.


While LGCA might have the resources to operate an educational campaign about the high risks of online gambling, they wanted some additional expertise to target the proper audience and to understand the effectiveness of the campaign. Metric Marketing partnered with LGCA to launch a campaign that invited Manitobans to be cautious every time they gamble to make sure the games are safe, legal and transparent.

The idea behind the campaign was to create simple and direct headlines and visuals aimed to educate, as many people are simply unaware of what is ‘allowed’ and what is not when it comes to these games of chance.


The campaign ran across multiple platforms - including Google Display, Google Search, Facebook and Instagram - where we could use AI to ensure we were targeting individuals within the geographical bounds of Manitoba who were known to visit online gambling sites. The messaging then could be targeted through the social media sites themselves - plus through users’ regular web browsing - allowing us to reach them with multiple opportunities.

Our messaging aimed to be direct but non-judgmental, grabbing the attention of people who participate in raffles, draws, and more - and educating them about the risk of both planning and playing. 


Through targeted online advertising, LGCA has been able to raise awareness among Manitobans about the high risk of unregulated online gambling. Check back as we update the results of this campaign that is currently in market.

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