Labor edges away from gambling ad ban

This story by Ronald Mizen first appeared in The Australian Financial Review on 22nd November 2023.

Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland has given the strongest signal yet the Albanese government intends to ignore a multi-party call to impose an outright ban on gambling advertising.

Ms Rowland also defended attending a lavish lunch on her birthday last year with gambling executives in the private dining room of one of Melbourne’s best restaurants, saying no rules were broken.

Teal MP Zoe Daniel slammed Ms Rowland’s speech, questioning the point of setting up a parliamentary inquiry if the government did not intend to accept its unanimous recommendation.

“The minister talks about ‘harm minimisation’ – the evidence is the most significant harm to the young is being caused by the avalanche of advertising now encouraging young men to believe that betting with their mates is the way to maintain friendship,” Ms Daniel said.

“The minister notes ‘some sporting codes now heavily rely on online gambling’. So what? They took a punt on their futures; they shouldn’t be punting on the futures of the young.”

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