Politician Calls For Gambling Ads Ban

Prominent Australian politician, Nick Xenophon, is calling for a complte ban of gamblings ads on teams' shirts and stricter rules in the media

Prominent Australian politician Nick Xenophon is calling for a ban on all gambling ads. The anti-gambling, anti-pokies 63-year-old is pushing for more control of gambling ads, similar to smoking and alcohol advertising.

It is not a coincidence that Xenophon has spoken out at this time. Australia’s federal elections are around the corner and he wants a spot in the Senate again. Xenophon took to the social media platform Twitter to start his debate.

“The rest of the world knows we have a gambling problem, why do the major parties turn a blind eye to it? With States so hopelessly addicted to gambling taxes, only the Cth can cut through and slash the harm.”

Xenophon’s comments come after the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) published a report into gambling ads. The report reveals gambling ads in Victoria increased 253% from 2016 to 2021. In addition, free-to-air channels in Victoria showed 948 gambling ads daily.

The gambling industry spends a lot of money getting its products in the public domain. Australian firms spent $287 million on gambling ads last year, $15.9 million more than the previous year.

Xenophon Highlights Gambling Ads Strategy

Gambling ads restrictions are already in place across Australia. Adverts are only allowed after 20:30 and are not permitted during live sports during the day. However, Xenophon is keen on stricter rules and regulations.

He called for a blanket ban between 12:00 and 15:00 on school days. In addition, to 20:30 to 05:00 every day of the week. Xenophon pointed out the similarities between his plans and what are already in place for alcohol ads. However, his plans fall short of a total ban on tobacco products. Furthermore, Xenophon calls for a ban on gambling companies sponsoring sports teams.

Love the Game Ambassador Brodie Grundy supports Xenophon’s ideas. Grundy, of Collingwood FC, regularly raises concerns about the normalisation of sports betting among young people.

“You don’t need to be an expert on gambling to start a conversation about it. Coaches are role models who can talk to players and supporters about the risks of sports betting and shift the controversy away from the odds. Love the Game month is underway and we want to tell parents that the risk to kids from sports betting is on the rise. As the home coach, they can also help their kids love the game, not the odds.”

Latest In a Long Line of Calls For Bans

Xenophon is not the first person calling for gambling ads banning and will not be the last. April 1, 2018, saw new rules ban gambling ads from 05:00 to 08:30 across television and radio.

Reverend Tim Costello, the chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, is a vocal supporter of a complete ban. Costello does not believe any gambling company should be able to advertise in the media or on teams’ shirts.

“Constant gambling ads promote all sorts of bonus best undoubtedly triggered some people to gamble again, gamble more, some with savings made during lockdown, or even worse, with superannuation withdrawals. We would be shocked to see a tobacco ad during football and cricket these days because we know children watch these games and naturally want to emulate their heroes and support their sponsors. We must nip this in the bud right now, and the quickest and easiest way to do so is to end gambling advertising.”

Gambling giant, Tabcorp, shocked the industry in September 2021 after calling for a blanket ban, too. The shift towards online gambling during the COVID-19 pandemic worried Tabcorp executives as they lost precious market share.

Tabcorp spends far less money on gambling ads than its rivals. For example, Tabcorp spent $64.9 million over the previous two years. This is in contrast to Sportsbet which spent $112.8 million and Ladbrokes spending $99.6 million during the same period.