“It’s A Legitimate Industry”: National MPs On Gambling Ad Ban

“It’s A Legitimate Industry”: National MPs On Gambling Ad Ban

National party MPs Barnaby Joyce and Keith Pitt have called the mooted ban on gambling adverts shortsighted and would create a dangerous precedent for advertising.

The pair have become the first federal MPs to question the efficacy of the proposed ban on wagering adverts following a government inquiry into the industry.

“I think you have to be careful that you don’t go on a program of banning all ads – you won’t have any commercial TV stations left or the Guardian for that matter,” Joyce told Guardian Australia.

“You can moralise to an extent but I’d need some convincing [on a total ban],” added the shadow veterans affairs minister and former deputy prime minister.

“Next it will be fast foods, then sugary drinks. Everyone knows you shouldn’t be living on Coke – but which journalists are you going to let go [if ads are banned]?

“If you give the horse its head it creates a precedent … For commercial stations to exist they have to have advertising revenue.”

Joyce did say that he had “sympathy” for the regulation and said that Australians “don’t want to see the odds while watching a game with their kids.”

Pitt, the former minister for resources and water, meanwhile, said that he had a “fundamental issue with banning everything that people don’t like.”

However, he said that the gametime ban proposed by leader of the opposition Peter Dutton was “quite sensible.”

“I have concerns when a six-year-old is more concerned with who the first try scorer is than who wins the game,” he explained.

“We shouldn’t absolutely prohibit it, because there are some people who quite like a punt, it’s a legitimate industry. But it needs to be managed appropriately so people are not hooked at an early age.”

Adland figures have roundly criticised the ban and the effect it might have on the media industry in Australia.

Free TV, for example, said that the proposed ban was based on a “fundamentally flawed premise” and that “kneejerk moves” would ultimately harm viewers and the TV series they love despite community concerns around gambling advertising.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia, also said that an outright ban was “not proportionate” and would affect the delivery of free online content and services.




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