Australian report finds link between betting ads and riskier behaviour

Australian report finds link between betting ads and riskier behaviour

Respondents also supported greater restrictions on gambling advertising.

Australia.- A new report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has revealed a strong link between exposure to betting advertising and riskier gambling behaviour. 

The survey of 1,765 people found that 78 per cent of Australian adults had seen or heard sports and/or race betting advertising at least once a week in the past 12 months, with two in five (41 per cent) being exposed four or more times a week.

According to the report, exposure to wagering advertising had the greatest impact on young people aged 18 to 34 and people at risk of gambling harm. One in five young women and one in seven young men started betting for the first time after seeing or hearing an ad on TV. 

Among individuals at risk of gambling harm, 41 per cent reported trying a new form of betting, and 40 per cent bet on impulse due to seeing or hearing betting advertisements.The study found that 38 per cent of people gambled at least weekly, while three in four Australians gambled at least once during the past 12 months. Almost half of those who gambled (46 per cent) were classified as being at some risk of harm from wagering.

Some 64 per cent of Australians believed that government should play the biggest role in how wagering is advertised, with 53 per cent supporting an outright ban on advertising across all platforms before 10.30pm, and 47 per cent supporting a ban across all social media platforms. Most respondents believed sport and race betting is “too common” and “makes the sport less family-friendly”.

Dr Sharman Stone, director of AIFS, said: “This new research also demonstrates the community’s support for strong action on wagering advertising, and they want governments to lead the way.

“This report highlights the urgent need for change, with strong support for outright bans on wagering advertising. This reflects a high-level of awareness in Australian society that gambling is a significant cause of harm, which must be addressed.”

See also: AFL to review restrictions on gambling ads following criticism

Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, executive manager of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, said: “We know the harms that gambling causes – at an individual, family and societal level – including impacts on finances, relationships and health and wellbeing.

“This research shows that exposure to wagering advertising is leading to riskier betting behaviour and escalating the likelihood of experiencing gambling harms. The report also captures the concerns of the Australian public that wagering advertising normalises gambling activity.”

According to the report, the Australian public is concerned that wagering advertising normalizes gambling and makes sports less family-friendly. The majority of respondents (69 per cent) feel that sports and race betting are too prevalent, while 60 per cent believe that these ads make sports less suitable for families.

See also: Australian Capital Territory may ban sports gambling ads

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