The Prime Minister of Australia, Anthony Albanese, believes that the amount of gambling advertising during sporting matches is “annoying” but refuses to commit to a policy that will implement a ban on it.
The Review Will Decide Albanese refused to comment directly on any possibility that his government would introduce a ban on gambling advertising during matches in the interview he gave to Guardian Australian, pointing to the ongoing review on the matter.
“I don’t want to pre-empt the review which is underway,” he replied when asked about the ban. “But on a personal level, I find them annoying,” he added, unofficially siding with all the critics who have been raising concerns about the barrage of gambling advertising flooding televised matches.
Albanese also used the interview to comment on the ban proposed by opposition leader Peter Dutton, stating that Dutton’s ban advocacy was surprising in the light of the previous nine years when the then-ruling Coalition “did nothing… on any of those issues.”
Proactive in Its Gambling Policy While pointing to the Coalition’s inactivity on the issue in the years it was ruling the country, Albanese noted that his government was proactive in its gambling policy from the start, highlighting some of the work done so far.
“We’ve been in government for a year and we’ve got a review … that we initiated after we’ve already changed the advertising guidelines and strengthened them regarding any advertising for gambling,” he said.
Albanese also pointed to the new mandatory harm-minimization messages on advertising, the ban on the use of credit cards for online wagering and the restrictions imposed on gambling-like activities in video games.
Dutton’s Ban Proposal Last week, the leader of the Australian Opposition and head of the Liberal Party Dutton used his budget reply speech and proposed a ban on sports betting advertising during broadcasts and for an hour before and after a televised sporting game.
Dutton claimed that gambling advertisements during sporting matches are stealing the joy out of televised sports, changing the culture of the country by instilling a mentality that associates sports betting with sports and “normalizing gambling at a young age.”
“I encourage the prime minister to work with us on this initiative – to get it implemented now,” he added, requesting the government’s support and collaboration on the initiative that is for the good of Australian customers.
Backed by the Greens and Independents, Dutton’s Proposal was met with fierce opposition by the peak body for commercial TV, Free TV, slamming it as being “not evidence-based” and likely to “disproportionately hurt local broadcasters.”
A ban on betting advertising during televised matches enacted by the government would also face a significant backlash from the gambling industry.