Victoria to ban gambling ads on transport and near schools

Gambling advertising on trains, trams, buses and taxis could be banned under a new plan by the government of Victoria.

Australia.- Victoria government plans to ban gambling ads near schools, on trains, trams, buses and taxis as well as near schools and at train stations. The measure is part of a new plan from the Andrews government.

The explosion in gambling advertising after the proliferation of internet gambling sites in the past decade has caused much concern in the community. In particular, the growing relationship between gambling and sport has been widely criticised.

Marlene Kairouz, new Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation will release a consultation paper that proposes to ban static betting advertising on “public transport infrastructure, including trains, trams, buses and stations, and near schools.” The paper identifies public transport infrastructure and areas near schools as the first location for a crackdown due to the exposure it has over children and teens.

“The Victorian government is concerned about the normalisation of gambling on sport through the proliferation of gambling advertising. It is particularly concerned about its impact on children, adolescents and other people vulnerable to gambling-related harm,” reads the paper. “Public transport infrastructure is also unavoidable as part of many Victorians’ day-to-day activities.”

The consultation phase will last a month, with legislation likely to be introduced next year to Parliament. Federally, Senator Nick Xenophon and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie, along with the Alliance for Gambling Reform have called for a ban on sports betting advertising on TV during broadcasts.

Ms Kairouz has also called on the Turnbull government to follow Victoria’s lead and crack down on gambling ads in order to protect the most vulnerable in the community. “Gambling is not an integral part of sport. Kids should be talking about their favourite sporting teams, not the odds of that team winning,” Kairouz said.  “The Andrews Labor government is leading the nation, targeting insidious wagering ads which encourage Victorians most at risk to gamble.”