Anti-gambling campaigners shared their concerns that the time difference between West Australia and the Eastern States could have lead to larger exposure to gambling advertising and its possible negative impact.
Last year, Australian broadcast groups agreed to reduce the amount of gambling adverts aired on TV as part of the media law reform package introduced by the Federal Government. The measured were taken in order for children and more vulnerable individuals to get better protection against the possible negative impact that could seriously affect them. the Australian Communications and Media Authority is expected to discuss the problem in detail in order to make a decision on the implementation of the bans that could be imposed.
For the time being, ASTRA, the pay-TV industry association, has pushed for the Australian Eastern Time to be used when it comes to the 8:30 PM time restriction for gambling adverts. As mentioned above, according to the campaigners against gambling, children in West Australia could suffer greater exposure to sporting events advertising, which would clearly violate the intention of the reforms.
Excessive Gambling Advertising under Fire
Kelvin Thompson, who is the Executive Officer of Alliance for Gambling Reform commented on the problem, saying that children in West Australia deserved the same level of protection from gambling adverts as the ones living on the east coast of the country. He also disagreed with the claim that subscription TV would suffer a major blow in case it is not able to broadcast gambling adverts over live sporting events in the Eastern States.
According to Mr. Thompson, it was an obligation of the Federal Government to get more engaged and provide regulation on the matter in order to make sure that gambling advertising is well-controlled, monitored and regulated across the territory of the entire country, and not in certain states only. He shared that the 8:30 PM time restriction should be implemented for all states and that each state local time should be used.
Gambling advertising has been one of the major issues which have recently been discussed in the Australian gambling industry. As reported by the Casino Guardian a couple of days ago, pay-TV broadcasting groups are also seeking to get a ban exemption for “low-audience share” channels and certain specialist channels. Free-to-air broadcasters, on the other hand, protested against these proposals, saying that they violate the spirit of the gambling commercials restriction agreement across the industry.
On the other hand, anti-gambling campaigners have called for more serious measures to be taken against gambling and gambling advertising, respectively. Local authorities and some political parties have shared their concern with the number of under-aged individuals and vulnerable people who are not only being reached but also especially targeted by aggressive advertising campaigns of some gambling operators. According to them, the regulatory regime imposed on companies and broadcasters should be kept tighter, with less gambling content being accessible to children.