Saturation of gambling ads during sport telecasts prompts outcry

July 10, 2015

Article ran on 3AW693 AM 9 July 2015

Sport lovers were again bombarded with dozens of gambling ads during event telecasts last night, prompting an outcry from former gamblers and gambling experts.

3AW Mornings host Tony Jones said the saturation of ads “blew him away” and described Australia’s gambling culture as a “social cancer”.

“It is pure seduction,” he said.

“Up front credit at $200 when you sign up. Money back offers when your team doesn’t win. Free access to live sport.

“If you believe them, you can’t lose. Well, you can. And unfortunately it’s become a social cancer.”

CEO of the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation Serge Sardo said the amount of televised ads during sports broadcast had been an issue of concern for quite some time.

In 2013, there were an average of 60 gambling ads on free-to-air television each day. And around 10-15 minutes of gambling ads are in every live sports game on television.

“What’s most concerning is that we have a whole generation of kids growing up in this environment,” Mr Sardo said.

“Everywhere they look – and it’s not just television, it’s train stations and particularly online – they’re being told to gamble.”

“And we actually don’t know the impact of that, and we won’t know the impact for decades to come.”

Young males have the highest rates of problem gambling in Australia, and are often targeted in betting agency ads.

Former problem gambler Tony began placing bets when he was just 19.

“You name it, I bet on it,” he said.

Tony is now 48 and hasn’t had a bet in eight years but he estimated he spent between $200,000-$300,000 on his addiction.

“Gambling ruined my life. I went to jail over gambling,” he said.

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