The Prime Minister says he’s “annoyed” when he sees gambling advertising during sporting broadcasts. The Opposition Leader has “had enough.”
The government says wait until a House committee report on online gambling reports mid year.
However, parents and sports fans alike say the time is now.
A recent 3-year study from Latrobe University for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation found that 78% of the 50 thousand respondents felt they should be able to watch TV sport with no gambling ads, 87% said teenagers are exposed to too much gambling advertising.
I have two of those teenagers, and it’s for them, and others in our communities across Australia, that I speak today.
The Opposition says extend existing bans to one hour each side of sporting broadcasts.
But recent policy interventions to restrict the timing and proximity of gambling ads around broadcast sport have only pushed gambling into other programming – including programming that appeals to children like comedy shows and Marvel movies.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has itself concluded that an effect of restricting gambling ads during live sport after rule changes came into effect in 2018-19 was simply an increase in gambling ads during non-sport programs – especially between 6 and 1030pm when children and teenagers are watching.
Not only that, the total volume of gambling spots increased by no less than 50 percent in 2018-19 after the new regulations came into effect, compared with 2016-17 under the old rules.
This is why I am introducing this Bill, the Broadcasting Services Act Amendment (Prohibition of Gambling Advertisements) Bill 2023.
It is a direct reflection of community sentiment and I thank all of those from within my community of Goldstein and from around the country who have contacted me in support of this Bill.
I acknowledge the groundbreaking work done by Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon as well as the continuing efforts by my fellow crossbenchers, especially Rebekha Sharkie and Kate Chaney.
If not us who, if not now, when? It’s time to ban gambling ads.