Media release 7 November 2023
Albo urged to scratch sports betting advertising and give people a fighting chance against addiction
With at least one child in every high school classroom suffering or at risk from harm from their own gambling, and sports betting companies set to romp it in with today’s Melbourne Cup, there’s mounting pressure on the Albanese government to implement the recommended advertising ban on sports betting.
Wesley Mission CEO and leading gambling reform advocate, Rev Stu Cameron, says the government continues to tinker around the edges of reform, ignoring the unanimously recommended, comprehensive online gambling advertising ban (by the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs in their report “You Win Some, You Lose More” – June 2023).
“To date, it has been an exercise in virtue signalling. Our TV screens and social media platforms are awash with online sports betting ads. We have warnings at the end of ads. Let’s not have the warnings. Let’s not have the ads at all.”
More than 250 million dollars is spent on sports betting advertising every single year by an estimated 77 companies and 140 websites, a scenario Cameron likens as ‘the wild west’.
The advertising spend generates billions of revenue dollars for the companies while simultaneously and disturbingly– a whole generation, mostly young people, are being groomed and then addicted to gambling through these online sports betting applications.
“Regulations has not kept up. It is desperately needed. The Standing Committee unanimously tabled 31 recommendations in parliament in June this year. Those recommendations need to be addressed by the Albanese government. They need to be adopted in full.
“We know that harmful industries spend a fortune on advertising, because it works. We must, as we so successfully have done with tobacco ads, protect our children and those targeted by this pernicious industry.
“So, we are calling on the Albanese government, with a sense of urgency and immediacy, to adopt those 31 recommendations, to implement and execute them, for the benefits of Australian now and for the generations into the future.”
Gambling among young people is common. The NSW Youth Gambling Study conducted in 2020 found that almost 30% of kids aged 12 to 17 had gambled in the past year, and they first gambled when they were 11 or 12. 3% to 4% have a gambling problem or are at risk – that’s one kid in every classroom. Could that kid be you or someone you know?
Below is link to the 31 recommendations. Recommendation 26 is the key one on advertising.
Wesley Mission CEO, Rev Stu Cameron, is available for interview
For more information, please contact Anne Holt on 0418 628 342 or firstname.lastname@example.org