Australia: AFL fans irked by increase in gambling advertising

A survey was conducted by the AFL Fans Association.
A survey was conducted by the AFL Fans Association.

A survey has revealed more than one-third of the Australian Football League fans are concerned about the increase in gambling advertising.

Australia.- Concerns surrounding gambling ads in the Australian Football League (AFL) have been revealed in a survey conducted by the AFL Fans Association. The research, shared by The Age, showed more than one-third of the AFL fans are concerned about the increase of gambling ads both at matches and in broadcasts.

The survey, conducted in late 2021, received 860 responses from all club supporters, aged under 18 to 75-84, of whom 71 per cent were club members. Some 37 per cent ranked gambling ads as their top concern when asked to choose an issue that was relevant to them. 

According to various analysts, sports betting is the fastest growing form of betting in Australia. Gambling Research Australia has recently published its Second National Study of Interactive Gambling in Australia, reporting that the number of online gamblers has doubled in the past decade

The AFL has recently signed a five-year deal with Sportsbet as its official gaming agency. Responding to concerns, the AFL said it was taking action to limit gambling advertising in venues. Some football stadiums are no longer offering gambling promotional materials, while other venues across the country have minimised Sportsbet promotions.

The AFL also said all Victorian clubs were working with anti-gambling associations, including the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. The league, however, said it had no control over broadcast advertising on TV and radio.

See also: Australia: anti-gambling campaigner blasts AFL crypto sponsorship

Last September, David Attenborough, Tabcorp chief executive, urged the government to impose stricter limitations on gambling ads to protect children and teenagers.

Attenborough said the government should think about a further crackdown, especially around live games. According to WA Today, he suggested further limitations on prime-time TV ads, excluding racing channels, would better protect vulnerable Australians. He suggested Australia should replicate the UK model.

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