Victorian PM won’t oppose sports betting ad reforms

A major gambling reform is expected to occur this year in Australia.
A major gambling reform is expected to occur this year in Australia.

Premier Daniel Andrews says he’s not against proposals to reform regulations.

Australia.- Victorian premier Daniel Andrews says he will not block a national push for stricter rules on sports betting advertisements. During a press conference, Andrews said the lack of a submission from the state to an inquiry into online gambling did not mean his government disagreed with calls for reforms.

The governments of New South Wales, Queensland, and Tasmania have said that existing rules are inadequate, while South Australia has proposed that a complete ban on sports betting ads be considered. Victoria did not make a submission due to the government going into caretaker mode before the November election, but Andrews has clarified that he is not against reforms.

See also: ACT Senator calls for tougher regulation of gambling ads

Restrictions on gambling promotions already exist, such as the prohibition of ads rated C, P, or G between 4pm and 7pm and during live sporting events until 8.30pm.

According to research commissioned by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, there were 948 gambling ads on daily free-to-air television in Victoria in 2021, equating to one every 91 seconds, a 253 per cent increase from five years earlier. 

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has called on the government to consider the impact of gambling advertisements on children, noting that complaints have almost doubled in the past financial year. 

Major sporting codes such as the AFL and NRL have opposed changes to online sports betting, claiming that the revenue generated from such ads helps fund grassroots sport. Free TV Australia, the representative organisation for free-to-air commercial broadcasters, has also rejected calls for stricter regulations on gambling advertisements. It says such a move could result in less free sports coverage. 

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