If Australia has always been associated with sports betting and its less reputable sibling – addiction, it’s perhaps time to address another, more pressing worry – the fact that children are continually exposed to gambling ads.
Sports Betting Ads, Drawing the Line
Gambling has not been considered as much of an issue in Australia, even though the whole nation is gambling with unabated frenzy. The negative consequences of the activity have not been quite visible yet, but they are bound to upset parents, as kids are increasingly exposed to the pernicious effects of gambling.
The ads have got quite sophisticated, too, and there’s an uptick in the number of marketing campaigns rolling out across multiple devices, including TV, smartphone, computer, billboards and even real sporting events.
By one estimate, 75 per cent of all kids aged between 8-16 now believe that sports betting is no big deal, without factoring the potential ills that may stem out of the activity.
Even worse, by the age of 18, a significant number have started betting themselves without having addressed or considered the social implications that excessive gambling can do to both body and soul.
Bookies Looking Good
Meanwhile, the bookmakers have not really been having a rough day. Not in the slightest. Despite onerous and rather stringent regulations, bookies have had no trouble whatsoever to turn a profit. Their revenue is in an upswing, data would suggest.
Dr Rebecca Jenkinson of the Australian Institute of Family Studies, has conducted a research into the effects that gambling ads have on male aged between 18 and 35. In her findings, she managed to find damning evidence that 70% of all participants were already either experiencing or at risk of going over the line. The findings were based on the Problem Gambling Severity Index, which is a standardized metric for gauging gambling behavior.
To put things in perspective, 81% of respondents also admitted that they had used a sort of promotion in the past 12 months, which is an alarmingly large number when all is said and done. Meanwhile, sports bettors interviewed who were placing wagers on weekly basis also turned out to be far more likely to wager across multiple bookmakers and multiple sports.
This in itself is dangerous as it leaves little time to research stakes properly, which in turn translates into losses for the gamblers themselves, the report argued.
A New Threat Looms
Now, a new threat looms. Ads are increasingly targeting, or at least becoming accessible to children. In her report, Dr Jenkinson said to have spoken with CEO and sports betting bosses who conceded that the activity was far too easily accessible by the majority and that more oversight should be introduced.
In other words, the gambling elite thinks that the government should be doing more to regulate the segment. This comes as a strange admission from the people who stand the most to benefit from it, but apparently measures need to be enacted.
With sports betting having become so omnipresent and considered normal, it would do Australia a world of good to start thinking seriously about the issue at hand.