Australia PM Leads Growing Chorus Against Gambling Ads During Live Sports

  • Aussie PM Anthony Albanese said: “On a personal level, I find [sports betting ads] annoying”
  • Leader of the opposition party Peter Dutton wants a ban during, before, and after live sports
  • A Financial Counselling Australia director has called for a ban of ads on all types of media
PM Albanese
Australian PM Anthony Albanese (pictured) has brought the sports betting ad debate mainstream by criticizing the volume of ads on TV. [Image:]

Following in the steps of the UK and US, Australia is the latest nation to question the amount of sports betting ads currently shown on TV during live sports.

On Wednesday, Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service cited Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as saying he finds the flood of gambling ads during live sports on TV “annoying.” Leader of the opposition party Peter Dutton, meanwhile, got his gambling gripes out in a speech last week, claiming the deluge of betting ads:

takes the joy out of televised sports.”

Of more concern to sportsbooks, Dutton claims the ads are negatively “changing the culture” of Australia, while also “normalizing gambling at a young age.” He wants gambling ads banned during live games, in addition to one hour before and after. It’s a measure that would resemble the UK’s whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling ads during live soccer.

Meanwhile, anti-gambling groups are joining the protests. Alliance for Gambling Reform CEO Carol Bennett told SBS her body wants a blanket ban “on all broadcasting of gambling advertising.” Bennett also posed that if gambling is “arguably as harmful as tobacco is for our kids,” then it needs to be treated with the same seriousness.

Financial Counselling Australia director of policy and campaigns Lauren Levin, meanwhile, believes young Australians aren’t watching TV, but rather going online, visiting private sports channels, or watching YouTube. She believes Australia should follow Belgium’s example and, as the European country will do on July 1, ban all forms of gambling ads across traditional and social media.

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