New claims by Government officials indicate Australians dislike gambling advertisements despite an international report by British consultancy H2GamblingCapital positioning Australia as the world’s gambling capital.
Federal Minister for Human Services, The Hon. Alan Tudge, MP recently cited the Australian public “hates” gambling ads, yet figures released by the Standard Media Index saw an increase of $65.6 million in advertising gambling-industry-related products and services in 2016.
Associate Professor Samantha Thomas, University of Wollongong, recently investigated the impact of advertising on children’s and parents’ perceptions of gambling.
In a media statement published by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, Professor Thomas said findings reveal a general perception that gambling advertisements reinforce a sense of ‘cultural capital’ between gambling and various sporting activities and mislead consumers into believing gambling is a fun, positive and normal activity.
Despite our proclaimed distaste for gambling-related advertising, Australia still hosts a staggering population willing to test their odds through their wallets. Federal Government figures reveal the nation spends a total of $12 billion annually on poker machines, with global figures showing an estimated $1,130 loss per adult gambler.
The question for Government and business is, can gambling advertisements be blamed for the large population of Aussies who fall prey to gambling temptations?
And if so, rather than minimising gambling advertising, perhaps the solution is the implementation of Government policies prohibiting advertising and focusing on community awareness campaigns involving gambling risks.