No Ball: Why Gambling Ads Should Be Banned From Sports On TV

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A little more than one week before the NRL Grand Final, a Labor backbencher has called for an end to gambling advertising on television.

Dr Marisa Paterson, who used to work for the ANU as a gambling researcher, launched the ‘Bets Off, Game On’ campaign last September 26, 2022. She is urging individuals in the community to sign a petition asking the Federal Government to ban gambling advertisements on television.

“We have worked so hard for the past 20 years to prevent cigarette advertising since we know that advertising works, yet we have let our guard down, and now our sport and TV are flooded with gambling advertisements,” Dr Paterson said.

“Sport should not be associated with gambling. Australian children should not develop a preference for betting firms over their favourite sports teams.”

“These foreign betting firms contribute nothing to our society, yet they take in billions of dollars each year and cause significant damage to Australian families.”

The federal government last week announced the formation of a special commission to study online gambling and its impact on society. Dr Paterson will submit the completed petition to that inquiry.

She encourages anyone in the community to share a story about how online gambling has impacted them to reach out to her office. Anyone can make submissions anonymously, and all information will be confidential.

According to Dr Paterson, online sports betting is the most damaging form of legal gambling in the ACT. According to research, 35% of people who bet on sports or special events online suffer from gaming-related problems. 

“Compared with 26% of poker machine players, online sports betting is the most harmful type of regulated gambling in the ACT,” claims Dr Paterson.

Should the federal government ban gambling advertisements on television to protect our children and our society from the harmful effects of online gambling?

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