Labor shares the concerns of people across Australia who are worried about the impact of gambling advertising, particularly on children.
Labor is also concerned that the Government is moving too slowly when it comes to ensuring Australians vulnerable to the harms of online gambling are adequately protected.
Labor led the way in addressing community concerns around gambling advertising in 2013 by demanding that broadcasters amend their codes of practice to ensure a reduction in the promotion and advertising of gambling during live sport. In 2017, Labor secured a second reading amendment which compelled the Government to tighten these restrictions.
In 2017, 2018 and 2019 Labor supported amendments to the Interactive Gambling Act to strengthen consumer protection measures for online gambling, to prohibit credit betting, to prohibit lottery betting (“synthetic lotteries”) and to establish a National Self-Exclusion Register (NSER) to allow individuals at risk of or experiencing gambling related harm to exclude themselves from interactive wagering services and limit their exposure to direct marketing activities.
Unfortunately, the Morrison Government has been in no hurry to protect Australians vulnerable to the harms of online gambling. The NSER was meant to be up and running by May 2020 but, owing to Government delay in getting legislation passed last year, it won’t be implemented until mid-2021. It is unacceptable that the Government allowed this critical gap in consumer protection to continue, particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Labor supports a range of regulation to ensure a high level of social responsibility in the advertising of gambling products in Australia.
If you believe there has been a breach of advertising restrictions, you are encouraged contact the relevant body, as set out below.
Gambling ads on all media
- The content of gambling and wagering advertisements on all media is subject to oversight by the Advertising Standards Bureau. The AANA Codes of Practice provide that advertising and marketing communications must not be directed primarily to minors, among a range of other restrictions. For further information see https://adstandards.com.au/products-issues/wagering-advertising. If you believe there has been a breach of these restrictions, you can lodge a complaint with the ASB at https://adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint.
Gambling ads on TV in general programs and during live sport
- Gambling ads on commercial free to air television are subject to further restrictions during general programming as well as during live sport. For further information see https://www.freetv.com.au/resources/code-of-practice/. If you believe there has been a breach of these restrictions, you can lodge a complaint with Free TV at https://www.freetv.com.au/contact-us/viewer-feedback-complaints/.
Gambling ads on radio during live sport
- Gambling ads on commercial radio are subject to further restriction during live sport. For further information see http://commercialradio.com.au/CR/media/CommercialRadio/Commercial-Radio-Code-of-Practice.pdf. If you believe there has been a breach of these restrictions, you can lodge a complaint with Commercial Radio Australia at http://commercialradio.com.au/CR/media/CommercialRadio/Commercial-Radio-Code-of-Practice.pdf
Gambling ads streamed over the internet during live sport
- Gambling ads streamed online during live sports are restricted. For further information see https://www.acma.gov.au/make-complaint-about-gambling-ad. If you believe there has been a breach of these restrictions, you can lodge a complaint with the ACMA at https://www.acma.gov.au/interactive-gambling-complaint-form
Labor will be following up with the Government on the impact of COVID-19 on the advertising and consumption of online gambling in Australia, as well as steps to strengthen consumer protections.