Monday 22. August, 2016

Community Calls for Ban on Betting Ads on Public Transport

The Victorian government is facing pressure to introduce laws to ban betting advertisements on public transport and around schools. Groups are arguing that the proliferation of marketing by bookmakers is a risk for children.

The state government has started with public consultations and public submissions will be called before the government looking into the proposed restrictions for gambling advertising and the introduction of the proposals into law.

“What we’re wanting to do is ensure they’re no longer exposed to betting advertisements while they go to and from school each day,” said Gaming Minister, Marlee Kairouz.

“This is supported by community concerns about the impact of gambling advertising, in particular because it normalises gambling amongst our most vulnerable, including children.”

Over the past few years, gambling advertising has become more prevalent in places frequented by large numbers of people, including children. This has been noticeable in public transport areas, such as train stations and is particularly obvious during sporting events, such as the Melbourne Carnival when major train stations throughout Melbourne, carried branding.

“There is absolutely no question that sports betting advertising has become prevalent and more noticeable,” said Ms Kairouz. “These reforms are an important first step to limit the community’s exposure to betting advertising, especially in places where people spend a lot of time and find hard to avoid.”

Ms Kairouz emphasised the importance of these measures, stating that problem gambling costs the government between $1.5 billion and $2.8 billion per annum. However, Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said the bans are not enough and the government needs to invest in more and better services for problem gambling.

The government, meanwhile, has committed $150 million over the next four years to the Responsible Gambling Foundation of Victoria.

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