Australian government under pressure as calls for ban on gambling ads grow
Australia's Communications Minister Michelle Rowland warns against the current state of gambling advertising, as independent MP Zoe Daniel introduces a bill seeking an outright ban on gambling ads
The Australian Communications Minister, Michelle Rowland, acknowledges the inadequacy of the current state of gambling advertising as independent MP Zoe Daniel introduces a bill seeking an outright ban on gambling ads across radio, broadcast television, pay TV, and streaming services. Supported by several Labor MPs, the bill aims to address concerns about the harmful impact of these ads, especially on young adults and children. While Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has expressed personal dislike for gambling advertising, the government awaits the results of a parliamentary inquiry on online gambling and the effect of advertising on children before proposing its own comprehensive reforms.
Rowland emphasizes the need for evidence-based and comprehensive reform that examines advertising across various channels, including broadcast and social media platforms. The Labor party has a strong track record in minimizing harms associated with online gambling, and Rowland is pleased to work with crossbench members to reduce gambling harm and address concerns about advertising. Constituents, including Carina Garland, the Labor member for Chisholm, express increasing concerns about the accessibility of gambling and gambling advertising to younger demographics.
Television broadcasters argue that an ad ban could be costly and potentially impact free sport on TV, but the idea of banning gambling ads resonates with voters. Daniel's bill receives support from fellow independents and is driven by the belief that the gambling industry, similar to big tobacco, profits from vulnerable communities, necessitating urgent action to counter the saturation levels and insidious nature of gambling ads, which have started overshadowing the actual sports events themselves. The ongoing debate and pressure on the government highlight the need for comprehensive reform to address the harms associated with gambling advertising in Australia.