Hesitancy. This is how sports bodies have approached the matter of regulating sports gambling advertising in Australia and reducing the number of ads broadcast on TV and radio in various jurisdictions across the country.
This hesitancy is if anything unbecoming as a growing number of ordinary Australians is sending their message loud and clear – get rid of the advertisement and stop associating sports with gambling. This is easier said than done, but there seems to be a political will for change.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has recently signaled its preparedness to act swiftly and unilaterally should the central government fail to step in and offer a resolution to a pressing matter. Essentially, the ACT wants to see more done to reign in sports gambling advertisements, and if the federal government fails to do its bit, the state is already looking to stamp out advertisements.
There are several ways to do this as well. According to The Guardian, ACT Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury is already looking to pass measures that may reduce the number of ads that appear on the two media. Furthermore, Rattenbury believes that any changes that could be passed in the ACT should make sure those ads do not simply end up migrating elsewhere.
He has called the spreading of gambling ads "insidious" and their effect "pernicious," arguing that young men are susceptible to the influences of advertisements. The political call for action in Australia comes at a time when there is enough support among sports fans and ordinary Australians who are overwhelmingly in favor of banning gambling advertisements altogether.
Rattenbury does not advertise a complete ban on sports gambling advertisements, as he understands that these advertisements are still tied to the financial stability of sports to some extent. However, he proposes that the ACT adopts a similar regime to South Australia, another state, which prohibits gambling advertisements at certain hours.
The Attorney General says that he would much prefer to see the government act to introduce measures that all other states could follow, but in the event that there is no such framework introduced, the ACT is prepared to act. Meanwhile, sports fans have pronounced themselves against the proliferation of sports gambling advertisements in the country.
Close to 80% of the sport’s fans have said that they would favor a complete ban on gambling advertisements in a survey conducted by the AFL Fans Association.
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