“Utterly Irresponsible!” Sportsbet Slammed For Near-$20m Marketing Blitz As Gambling Ban Approaches

“Utterly Irresponsible!” Sportsbet Slammed For Near-$20m Marketing Blitz As Gambling Ban Approaches

Sportsbet has been slammed as “utterly irresponsible” after a $19.4 million marketing blitz that, in the eyes of one anti-gambling advocate should “destroy their social licence to operate.”

Tim Costello chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform said that “This proves a levy on Sportsbet is appropriate and why are we allowing our kids to be targeted by a foreign, Dublin-based company?”

The jump in marketing spend was revealed in parent company Flutter’s interim 2023 results. It said the additional spend was necessary to “defend our leadership position” and that Australia was ” currently undergoing a period of disruption due to POC tax increases and a post-COVID softening of consumer demand, most notably in racing.”

A ban on gambling advertising has been mooted to happen within three years, though whether this will come to pass remains to be seen.

When speaking to the government committee that recommended the ban, Sportsbet’s chief exec Barni Evans said that a balance needed to be struck between wagering firms, the TV networks that rely on their ad dollars and the needs of the Australian population.

“We acknowledge there is community sentiment on the volume of advertising,” he said.

“One of the things we hold dear in Australia is the ability to watch sport on free-to-air television without paying a subscription, to have great content on free-to-air television and television costs money. Television is funded by advertising. Yes, we need to pay attention to community sentiment around wagering advertising but we should also ask the question around what the community wants in free-to-air television.”




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