Aussie Politician Seeks Ban On Gambling Adverts

Advertisements for gambling should be treated like tobacco promotions and banned, says Green Party's Richard Di Natale

Australia's Green Party leader, Richard Di Natale said Friday that he intends to declare war on gambling advertisements, calling for the imposition of a ban similar to that on tobacco advertising.
Di Natale's proposal goes farther than the 2013 Gillard government ban on the promotion of live odds during sports matches, demanding a full ban on all advertising.
Tom Cummings, a Greens candidate for parliament and a former gambling addict said that advertising presented a danger to young people, and that what he characterised as an "avalanche" of gambling advertising had normalised the mix of sport and gambling.
"They can't tell the difference," he said. "And there's not a huge gap between a 15-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man who can gamble."
The Guardian newspaper reported Friday that a report last year by Financial Counselling Australia detailed the use of aggressive marketing tactics by sports betting operators, including the use of inducements such as tickets to sporting events and offers of credit to gamblers already heavily in debt.
The newspaper noted former New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell has conducted a review into the online sports betting industry that has been delivered to the government but is yet to be released.
Opposing a ban, the Australian Wagering Council warned that it would have detrimental commercial impacts on the racing, sporting and media industries, and instead called for collaboration between the industry and political parties on the issue.
The Council said it was a mistake to switch the focus on gambling to sports betting and away from the more dangerous pokie machines, claiming that only 3 percent of Australia's total gambling expenditure was on sports, but 52.2 percent went on pokies.

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