Tuesday 15. March, 2016

Online Bookie Calls for Cuts in Gambling Ad Spending

Online sports betting operator, Sportsbet, is calling on the government to curb gambling advertising in Australia, including big cuts to spending on gambling advertising across the country, as well as the formation of a federal gambling regulator.

Australian gambling companies have become the fourth-biggest spender in the advertising industry, spending $147 million on gambling ads in 2015, an increase of 326 percent from 2012 when they spent $45 million. The 2015 figure was slightly lower than the $149.9 million high in 2014 which can be attributed to the acquisition of Tom Waterhouse by William Hill.

Cormac Barry, chief executive at Sportsbet says he supports a complete ban on outdoor ads and sponsorships on team jumpers by gambling companies. In addition, he would like to see a self-exclusion program that would allow punters to block themselves from gambling websites across the industry. Finally, he has called on the government to curb gambling advertisements.

“Sportsbet sees value in working with government to strike an appropriate balance between legitimate community concerns about advertising, such as whether wagering advertising is appropriate in certain public areas or on sporting team merchandise, while enabling wagering companies to advertise their service.”

Other major gambling corporations have also supported these measures with Tabcorp, Tatts Group and Crownbet among them.

The government is currently reviewing a report that it commissioned regarding online gambling and the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA). Put together by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell, the report includes opinions from all sectors of the industry. It will pay particular attention to the controversial issue of in-play betting.

The IGA restricts in-play betting to over the phone or at betting shops, but Sportsbet is one of a number of operators that use technology to circumvent the law and offer in-play betting via an online click-to-call system.


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