Skip to content
Government Federal, Mental Health

Political leaders must support blanket ban on gambling advertising – ‘Watershed’ committee recommendations must get bipartisan backing

Alliance for Gambling Reform 3 mins read

The Federal Government and the Opposition must commit to give bipartisan support to the recommendations of a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling that has called for a blanket ban to sports gambling implemented over three years.


The Chief Advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Rev. Tim Costello, said he also welcomed the call for a national strategy to combat gambling harm and the introduction of an online gambling regulator and ombudsman.

The parliamentary committee into online gambling has today released its findings making 31 recommendations on how the industry should be regulated and how to combat gambling harm.

Rev. Costello said Australia was in the grip of a gambling epidemic and the tsunami of sports advertisements was normalising gambling and allowing the industry to groom young people to gamble.

“There is absolutely a need for a national strategy to combat the profound gambling harm that is being wrought in communities across Australia. Each year gambling rips $25 billion in losses out of our communities,” Rev. Costello said.
“The harm is profound, individuals, families and communities are devastated. And the harm is not just financial, this is a major public health issue that is a cause devastating harm to people’s health and in many cases it leads to people taking their own lives.”

Rev. Costello said the recommendation for the introduction of a national gambling regulator and a gambling ombudsman was ‘absolutely justified’ given the ad hoc, uncoordinated and weak State regulatory regime on gambling that has failed Australia.

“This committee, led by Labour MP Peta Murphy, had done an incredible job to lift the lid on the ugly underbelly of gambling in Australia and delivered a comprehensive raft of recommendations that now must be adopted,” he said.
“This is an issue that is too important to become a political football, we urge both major parties to give this bipartisan support to these recommendations today.”

Rev. Costello said Australia must put a public health lens to its efforts to combat gambling harm, just as it had done in tackling tobacco.

“The committee has rightly recognised that this is a public health issue and greater government leadership and resourcing must be devoted to introducing stricter regulations as well as funding prevention and public education campaigns and services to help people who are suffering gambling harm,” Rev. Costello said.
“The proposed gambling ban is no different to that imposed on tobacco, the major sporting codes cried foul then but they survived. The found other sponsors then.”
“It is only more recently that our sporting codes have become addicted to gambling advertising and sponsorship, we must break this addiction for the good of their games and for the greater good of society. We have done it before and we can do it again.”

Previously released analysis of online-gambling laws across the world undertaken by the Alliance for Gambling Reform has revealed Australia has one of the weakest regulatory regimes on the planet.

That research underscored why online gambling is the fastest growing form of gambling in Australia with more than $7 billion in losses suffered each year. Research shows people who gamble online are more likely to experience harm (34%) than  those who gamble on poker machines (15.6%)


Tim Costello is available for interview

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

About us:

The Alliance for Gambling Reform collaborates with organisations concerned about the harmful effects of gambling in Australia. As a registered health promotion charity, we strive to make Australia a safer, healthier, and more equitable society by reducing gambling harm. We prioritise policies that prevent and minimise gambling harm and base our policies on lived experience and public health evidence. We believe that lived experience is critical to developing informed solutions.

Contact details:

Tim Costello is available for interview

Media contact: Martin Thomas – 0477 340 704

More from this category

  • Disability, Government Federal
  • 07/12/2023
  • 14:10
RMIT University

NDIS review: scheme will continue to be a “fiscal sinkhole”

An expert from RMIT University says the review is disappointing and is effectively recommending more of the same when what is needed is wholescale reform. Dr David Hayward, Emeritus Professor, Public Policy and the Social Economy Topics: NDIS, healthcare, care economy, disability, social policy, aged care, childcare “The NDIS review is disappointing and confirms it will continue to be a fiscal sink hole. “Rather than offering solutions it is effectively recommending more of the same when what is needed is wholescale reform. “The review is full of ideas for reform involving new forms, new types of bureaucracy and bureaucrats with new…

  • Government Federal, Taxation
  • 07/12/2023
  • 13:36
Australian Taxation Office

Appointment of next Commissioner of Taxation

The Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP, Treasurer, has today announced the appointment of Mr Rob Heferen as the next Commissioner of Taxation, Registrar of the Australian Business Register, the Australian Business Registry Services, and Register of Foreign Ownership of Australian Assets. Mr Heferen has been appointed to a 7-year term starting 1 March 2024. Current Commissioner Chris Jordan’s term runs through to February 2024. ‘I congratulate Rob on his appointment,’ Commissioner Jordan said. ‘Being Commissioner of Taxation has been the highlight of my career and I am enormously proud of what the ATO has achieved over the past 10 years,’…

  • Government Federal, Industrial Relations
  • 07/12/2023
  • 11:01
The McKell Institute

Government’s IR reforms will improve individual lives and strengthen the economy

The Australian economy will be fairer and more efficient as a result of the federal government’s industrial relations reforms passed today, according to the McKell Institute. The McKell Institute has long recommended policy change in the areas ofwage theftandlabour hire loopholes, which have led to widespread exploitation and have cost the economy billions of dollars in recent years. The McKell Institute’s chief executive, Edward Cavanough, said the changes introduced by the parliament today would make a material difference to the problem. “Our most recent analysis indicted Australian workers were being underpaid nearly $850 million a year. That’s money that should…

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time your distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.