Leading Australian gambling operator Tabcorp reportedly proposed additional restrictions for TV gambling ads. The proposal calls for restricting gambling and wagering advertising around live sports events between 6:30 AM and 8:30 PM. Tabcorp urged the Government to consider those measures to protect children, as well as the vulnerable population.
The Pandemic Pushes More Gamblers Online
In light of the global COVID-19 pandemic that started last year and closed retail gambling venues, online gambling activities significantly increased all around the globe. The temporary closures led to losses in millions or even billions for some operators.
However, the increase in online gambling helped offset the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. With that in mind, advertising gambling products on TV continues to be one of the top methods for engaging with new customers and retaining existing ones and Australia is not an exception.
Australia’s Existing TV Gambling Ad Restrictions
Australia has currently banned wagering and gambling ads during programs classified G or lower from 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM. The ban also applies from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The country has also taken steps to protect the younger population by banning any gambling ads during programs, targeting specifically children from 5:00 AM to 8:30 PM.
Despite the existing restrictions, now, Tabcorp has urged the Government to roll out even tougher gambling advertising restrictions, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. The leading gambling operator asked for the restrictions to be introduced during prime time hours to protect the young and vulnerable population. With this proposal, it looks like Tabcorp is trying to bridge the gap that currently exists within the current gambling ad regulations.
New Restrictions to Help Protect Children from Gambling Ad Exposure
According to David Attenborough, Tabcorp’s chief executive, a further crackdown on advertising is needed for live sporting events. He explained that during live sporting events, the risk of children being exposed to gambling ads is higher. Speaking to a parliamentary committee, Attenborough urged committee members to look at “restricting wagering advertising, particularly around live sporting events, between the hours of 6.30 AM and 8:30 PM, where exposure to children is heightened.”
Moreover, he explained that this method for restricting gambling ads is already implemented in the UK. Attenborough deemed the restriction as a “classic way of trying to reduce the impact on the young.” Besides the latest proposal, Tabcorp is also in favor of banning credit card use for gambling activities.
Tabcorp’s proposal to restrict gambling ads received the approval of Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA). The RWA is an independent peak body, representing the Australian online wagering industry that also fights for responsible gambling and advertising.