AFL fans want nationwide ban on gambling ads

Voices opposing gambling advertisements are growing.
Voices opposing gambling advertisements are growing.

A survey of fans shows that 70 per cent want gambling ads to be banned.

Australia.- Calls for a nationwide ban on gambling ads on TV and at Australian Football League (AFL) stadiums have intensified following the release of a second annual survey by the AFL Fans Association (AFLFA). The survey found gambling advertising to be the most common concern among supporters.

The survey received 2,924 responses, a significant increase from 2021, and included non-Victorian respondents to give it a national focus. Gambling ads were found to be of more concern than even rule changes in the sport.

The AFLFA said 79 per cent of fans believed gambling ads should be banned from AFL grounds while 76 per cent agreed that gambling ads should be banned from broadcasting (including TV and radio). Meanwhile, 67 per cent of respondents said AFL Clubs should not receive money from pokies or gambling advertising and 65 per cent said gambling on AFL matches should not be allowed at grounds.

The report reads: “We call on all stakeholders supporting the AFL competition to develop a plan to remove any revenue from, or promotion of, gambling activities due to the detrimental effects gambling can have on fans. 

“In particular, the concerns about children being groomed as gamblers given the level of gambling advertising when watching a game at the ground, via streaming or free to air.” 

Ron Issko, the president of the AFLFA, called for discussions on cutting back gambling advertising, with a planned approach over a reasonable period, aiming at eventually reducing the ads to zero.

Tabcorp proposes end to primetime gambling advertising

During the second day of Regulating the Game, the leading gambling law and regulation conference in Sydney, Adam Rytenskild, chief executive officer and managing director of Tabcorp, commited to ending primetime advertising.

Rytenskild called for gambling advertising to be stopped on free-to-air television between 6.30am and 8.30pm as a sensible measure to reduce the impact of gambling harm. He said Tabcorp will voluntarily stop advertising at these times even if it is not recommended by the Federal Government’s Inquiry into online gambling.

In his keynote talk, Rytenskild said things had reached a pivotal moment for gambling advertising in Australia and that the public wouldn’t tolerate the direction advertising was going in.

“We believe there is too much gambling advertising, and that people should be able to watch live sport without being inundated by gambling advertising,” he said.

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