A parliamentary committee cited concerns about its impact on young people.
Australia.- The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) in Victoria is calling for more regulations for gambling ads, focusing on restrictions during primetime broadcasts and in public spaces. Committee chair Sarah Connolly said more rules were needed to protect young people.
Based on an eight-month review of three auditor-general reports, the committee also recommended assessing the impact of reducing the number of electronic gaming machines in the state. It also advocated for updated educational resources for students to address the harms associated with gambling and alcohol.
Connolly said: “Our culture has often been described as one that tends to normalise both drinking and gambling. The Committee heard evidence to suggest that this has become more entrenched than ever, with the rise in social media and digital technology.”
“Our report’s 96 findings and 61 recommendations have been informed by 54 public submissions, three days of public hearings, a Geelong site visit and a youth roundtable.”
The commission’s recommendations come five months after a federal parliamentary inquiry called for a phased ban on online gambling ads over three years. Current restrictions prevent gambling ads from being aired within five minutes of the commencement or conclusion of sporting events, with certain exceptions for long-form events after 8.30pm. However, the inquiry found unintended consequences, including an exponential increase in advertising outside of the restricted times, which it says has contributed to public perception of saturation.