Australian house committee recommends total ban on ads for online gambling

The parliamentary committee has made 31 recommendations.
The parliamentary committee has made 31 recommendations.

An inquiry has recommended ads for online gambling be banned within three years.

Australia.- The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has today (June 28) released a report on its inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm. The committee has made 31 recommendations, including a phased ban on all advertisements that direct people to gambling websites and apps. The ban would be introduced 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.

In 2022, the gambling industry spent AU$310m on advertising, according to Nielsen Research. The phased approach to banning gambling ads aims to assist broadcasters and sporting codes in finding alternative revenue sources while allowing betting companies time to adapt.

Committee chair and Labor MP Peta Murphy stressed: “Gambling advertising and simulated gambling through video games, is grooming children and young people to gamble and encourages riskier behaviour. The torrent of advertising is inescapable. It is manipulating an impressionable and vulnerable audience to gamble online.

“A phased, comprehensive ban on online gambling advertising is recommended within three years. This will give major sports and broadcasters time to find alternative advertisers and sponsors while preventing another generation from experiencing escalating gambling harm.”

The report also recommends developing and implementing a comprehensive national strategy for online gambling harm reduction, supported by national regulation, an online gambling ombudsman a harm reduction levy on online wagering service providers a public education campaign and more independent research and improved data collection.

The push to ban gambling ads during sports events has become a matter of political debate, with opposition leader Peter Dutton proposing a ban on ads one hour before and after sports matches.

See also: Australian gambling rates rebound to pre-pandemic levels, study finds

In this article: