Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon have spent years campaigning for responsible gambling measures across Australia. Now, they have turned their focus to gambling advertising, in hopes of banning this type of marketing during certain time slots.
The exposure of young people to gambling can be harmful. Studies have shown that when children are exposed to gambling from an early age, they are likely to develop unhealthy gambling habits when they are older.
According to The Australian, Wilkie and Xenophon are currently working on ways to outlaw the advertising of gambling during G-rated time slots when young people will be watching television. They plan to present their demands to parliament in the first sitting week.
Over the course of the past year, spending on television gambling ads has increased by nearly 20% to $63 million. It is a lucrative market, as gaming operators seek to promote their services to sports spectators. While they aim to attract older individuals, the ads are aired at times when young people are mostly like to watch television.
Since operators spend quite a lot of money on gambling ads, a ban on this marketing would be a huge blow to the industry. Companies like Sportsbet and Ladbrokes, which spent over $40 million and $20 million on gambling ads in the last year, respectively will be forced to find new ways to market their services to players.
Television networks have responded to the news, and are defending themselves. Executives at Nine has spoken out, stating that they have already taken steps to regulate the types of ads that are shown.
“Nine is alert to the community standards and will continue to be vigilant and responsible in handling this industry,” says Mark Hughes, Head of Nine.