Tuesday 12. April, 2016

William Hill Advertising Renews Concerns Over Children and Gambling Ads

There have been renewed calls for national gambling advertising laws in Australia, with a particular focus on gambling ads that target minors. The concerns have been voiced once again following heavy advertising by UK gambling operator William Hill on Twitch.tv, the most popular website in the world for watching people playing video games.

According to US audience measurement firm, Quantcast, minors account for around 25 percent of the website’s audience.

“It’s a concern to see gambling advertising apparently being targeted specifically to arrive on the computer screens and smartphones of young people,” stated Victoria’s Commissioner for Children, Liana Buchanan.

“We know young people of all ages are using these platforms on a regular basis and the research tells us young people are particularly susceptible to gambling advertising, so it’s important to monitor this approach by industry.”

“The digital space and how we use it is constantly evolving so it’s important to make sure regulation of this type of advertising stays up to date.”

Australian gambling operator, Tabcorp, has long called for changes to the laws surrounding gambling advertising in Australia. Tabcorp chairwoman, Paula Dwyer, said that growth of the online gambling industry and the increase in betting advertising has resulted in significant challenges for regulators and the community.

“Last year [2014], there was $89 million spent on wagering advertising across Australia,” Ms Dwyer said. “That was up 34 percent on the prior year. Our concern is not only that advertising is regulated differently in every state and territory, we also share the community’s view that there is too much gambling advertising.”

Despite the complexities of the situation and the difficulty in controlling which ads appear on which sites online, there is a push in government to begin a national conversation to tackle the concerns related to gambling advertising.


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