Australia to include stark new warnings on gambling ads

The new taglines must be alternated evenly.
The new taglines must be alternated evenly.

Operators will be required to use new alternating warning taglines from March.

Australia.- Online gambling operators in Australia will be required to include new warnings on ads from March. The current “gamble responsibly” phrase will be replaced with starker alternating taglines such as “Chances are you’re about to lose”, “Imagine what you could be buying instead”, “What’s gambling really costing you?” and “Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?”

Consultants Hall and Partners tested 10 slogans before narrowing them down to seven. They found that alternating messages reduces the likelihood that consumers quickly “turn off” their attention to the messages.

The consultants found that the slogan with the highest rate of effectiveness was “Chances are you’re about to lose.”

The slogans were taken from a survey commissioned by the Department of Social Services, which sought the views of 30 ordinary online gamers. They were agreed with the Commonwealth, states and territory governments under the National Consumer Protection Framework. Operators will have to take reasonable steps to rotate slogans evenly over a 12-month period.

See also: Victorian AGR calls for specific opening hours for gambling machines

Social services minister Amanda Rishworth stated: “The Albanese Labor government is committed to harm minimisation and practical solutions when it comes to addressing problem online wagering. We have consulted widely and, importantly, we have used evidence to inform these taglines.”

Tim Costello, chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, welcomed the decision. He said: “It’s a good step forward. It’s not enough when we have 943 sports betting ads on free-to-air TV a day.”

Justin Madden, chief executive of Responsible Wagering Australia, said the industry lobby group’s members “remain fully supportive of the change in relation to consistent gambling messaging, as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework”.

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