A parliamentary committee of inquiry in Australia has recommended phasing out advertising for online gambling within a three-year period in order to curb the detrimental effects it has on one of the world's largest betting markets. The committee put forward 31 recommendations on regulating online gambling and providing support for individuals struggling with addiction.
According to Peta Murphy, the chair of the committee, Australians outspend citizens of any other country on online gambling, causing havoc within communities. Online gambling companies strategically advertise alongside sports, normalizing it as a fun and harmless activity. This association between gambling and sport is changing the culture of sports, particularly among young Australians.
Murphy emphasized the need to prevent gambling revenue from capturing the essence of sports. She stated, "Australia would be diminished if sport was to be so captured by gambling revenue that providing an opportunity for betting came to be seen as its primary purpose."
To address the issue, the committee proposed a phased and comprehensive ban on all gambling advertising across all media platforms, both broadcast and online. The ban should be implemented over a three-year period to allow sporting bodies and broadcasters enough time to find alternative sources of advertising revenue.
If implemented, the ban would have significant implications for online gaming companies such as Flutter Entertainment PLC, owner of the popular betting app Sportsbet, Entain PLC, owner of the third-ranked app Ladbrokes, and Tabcorp Holdings.
Australia is known for having the highest gambling losses per person globally. The country's gambling industry has faced scrutiny in recent years, with public inquiries criticizing major casino operators for deficiencies in money laundering protections. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the gambling problem, as more activities shifted online due to the closure of public venues.
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese stated that the government would consider the recommendations and acknowledged the need for comprehensive action in addressing online issues and social media concerns.
By fLEXI tEAM