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Tabcorp appeals for a ban on TV gambling advertisements

Tabcorp has appealed to the Federal Government in Australia to impose tougher restrictions on betting advertising during prime-time viewing.

The aim is to protect young children, teenagers and vulnerable Australians. The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) listed wagering, media and lottery company has seen a rise in online gaming during the global pandemic, and it has raised concerns about the wellbeing of its users and talk of government intervention within the gaming industry. These actions to clamp down on television gambling advertising follows the recent studies of the ASA earlier this year, which used online avatars to identify trends and understand how such ads are being delivered to children in the UK. It is unlawful to advertise betting products during TV programs classified G or lower from the times of 6am-8.30am and 4pm to 7pm in Australia. Moreover, it is unlawful to advertise in any programs directed at children between 5am and 8.30pm. Gambling commercials are a hot topic and are among the most complained about issues to regulators. Last year, the industry saw a $271.3m spend on advertising; these figures have jumped considerably as numbers have risen from $89.7m in 2011. David Attenborough, Tabcorp Chief Executive, spoke on the subject, explaining: “The Federal Government needed to consider a further crackdown on advertising – particularly around live sporting events – where exposure to children was heightened.” He said further restrictions on prime-time television advertising – excluding racing channels – would better protect vulnerable Australians. “One is that they should look at restricting wagering advertising, particularly around live sporting events, between the hours of 6.30am and 8.30pm, where exposure to children is heightened,” he told a parliamentary committee. "We’ve seen this done in the UK. It’s a classic way of trying to reduce the impact on the young.” This comes as a slight surprise when this week Tabcorp announced it would not adhere to a credit card ban in aid of responsible gambling, saying it will not oppose the banning of credit card use on online gambling platforms, but that banks should be responsible for enforcing the ban. “If we got more information from the banks that a card was suspect, we could shut it down,” he added. “If the banks notified us that this was a problem, we would be able to stop dealing with that problem, but this flow of information doesn't happen.”

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