Online bookmakers 'pollute' Aussie sport

Online bookmakers 'pollute' Aussie sport
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Online bookmakers have “polluted” Australia’s favourite sports, with the frequency and ingrained nature of gambling ads potentially “creating another generation of problem gamblers”.

More than 500 individual online gambling ads were collectively broadcast more than 20,000 times on free-to-air television in 2012, according to a new Ebiquity study.

The report found that online betting sites’ investment in TV advertising has exploded from $12m in 2010 to $45m last year, reported The Australian.

“They [betting firms] are cooking the goose that laid the golden egg before our very eyes,” Steve Allen, media analyst and principal at Fusion Strategy, told B&T earlier this month.

Rather than learn from the experiences of the tobacco and alcohol industries before them, Allen said gambling companies have “polluted” sport and now face potential ad restrictions as a parliamentary inquiry into the promotion and advertising of gambling in sport kicks off.

The inquiry, which was started by the Greens, will look at sponsorship, venue and broadcast advertising, in-game promotions and gambling commentary.

“If we fail to act now to protect our kids, we risk creating another generation of problem gamblers,” Greens senator Richard di Natale said in a statement.

The affect of gambling ads on children is a key concern for lobby group, GetUp!.

“Gambling is an adult behavior, it is an adult activity and something that only adults should be doing,”GetUp!’s spokesperson told B&T.

“So why on earth are we allowing it to be advertised during G-rated programming?”

For more on this issue see B&T’s feature ‘One Punt Too Far?’ in the next edition of the magazine which is due out this week.

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