A day after Australia’s “race that stops the nation” Melbourne Cup carnival, the country’s new Labor government is making a tentative start on reining-in betting advertising.
TV viewers will be aware of the mass of airtime taken by TVCs for companies including Betr – in which News Corp is a major shareholder – SportsBet, BlueBet, PointsBet, Ladbrokes, and its stablemate Neds.
Now federal social service minister Amanda Rishworth began its “response to problem gambling and online wagering” with a series of seven new messages to be added to ads and apps. One reminds punters, “chances are you’re about to lose”.
Statistics indicate that Australians – who, according to an old saying, “will bet on two flies crawling up the wall” – lose an average $1200 a year.
Coverage on last night’s ABC News included concerns from some parts of the industry that the government could go further, “tobacco style”, and ban gambling advertising altogether. Fiona Guthrie, chief executive of peak body Financial Counselling Australia questioned why we have betting advertising at all.
There’s a possibility however, that gambling companies are already ahead of that change, with this Betr channel attracting 16,300 subscribers on YouTube.