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Friday, May 24, 2024

The Problem With Casino And Sports Book Ads

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Although for centuries gambling has been practiced all over the world, it was once considered taboo. Now it has become very much a mainstream source of entertainment and gambling has become more accepted. People no longer feel the same stigma attached to gambling.  This has resulted in increased advertising for casinos and sports betting. In 2021, Nielsen research found that Australian online casinos and bookmakers spent around $287.2 million on promotional activities. This is a dramatic increase from the $90 million spent in 2011.

The Australian Gambler

Recent surveys indicate that 80% of Australian adults are now placing bets on games and sporting events. This has caused much debate on social media, with many people feeling that the marketing associated with gambling is intrusive and could have a negative effect on young people.

Gambling Commercials on TV Today

As the market has become more competitive, operators have increased their advertising for their services to stay ahead of the competition. Advertisements for sportsbooks and online casinos are overwhelming broadcasts. According to Victoria data for 2021, there will be 948 gambling-related advertisements on free-to-air TV every day, representing a 40% increase over 2016. Many Australians have spoken out against such television advertising, particularly during live programs, and are calling for tougher controls.

Time For A Change

Had the Australian Government not amended the advertising regulations in 2018, the figures from 2021 would have been drastically higher. The current regulations state that gambling commercials are prohibited during G-rated TV shows, as well as between 6 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., or between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. The restrictions apply when children’s programs are being broadcasted between 5 and 8.30 p.m. Additionally, on March 30, 2018, a ban on gambling commercials during live sports broadcasts between 5 a.m. and 8.30 p.m. was implemented.

Devastating Statistics

Despite these amendments, figures still show the tremendous influence that gambling ads have on children. It was reported that 75% of youth aged 8 to 16 saw gambling as a normal part of any sports event, with 31% of secondary school students in Victoria having gambled at least once and 1 in 4 children able to name four or more gambling brands.

The impact of television advertisements on children’s psychological well-being is clear, with the messages that are presented becoming ingrained in their minds. The advertising of gambling operators using persuasive messages such as ‘cash back,’ free bets,’ and ‘bonus bets’ to attract potential customers has caused outrage among the Australian public. Such ads have led to an increased risk of children and young adults overestimating their chances of winning and underestimating their potential losses.

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Final Thoughts

The regulatory changes to gambling ads that were put in place in 2018 were not enough to prevent a disastrous outcome in 2021. It is clear that more needs to be done to protect Australians, especially children, from the potential harms of gambling advertising.

The government must take more decisive action and impose stronger regulations on gambling operators to prevent them from targeting children with their marketing messages. Additionally, the government should consider instituting an education program for children and young adults to help them understand the risks associated with gambling. This could include providing information about responsible gambling, which would help ensure that the public is able to make informed decisions about their activities.

Finally, the government should work to ensure that gambling operators are transparent about their practices and comply with the regulations that are in place.

With continued public pressure, the government is being forced to impose additional restrictions and regulations to protect the public from these influences. Although this may have a negative effect on the Australian gaming industry, gambling is an activity that has endured throughout history, meaning that sportsbooks and Australian online casinos are not in danger of closing down.

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