An Australian parliamentary inquiry is to recommend the eradication of all gambling industry from daytime sporting broadcasts. The inquiry, which includes staunch anti-gambling campaigner Andrew Wilkie, recommended a blanket ban to protect children from a pastime they likely class as worse than mistaking Vegemite for Marmite.
“This is normalising gambling in the minds of some children,” Mr Wilkie told reporters. “We wouldn’t have the screen covered with ads popping up all the time, the commentators talking about the odds all the time, with constant close-ups of players with gambling company logos on their chests.”
When looking at the finer details amongst what was said, it’s interesting to note that it’s one rule for some, another for others. The federal gambling reform committee is thought to only be worried about enacting these controls on certain sports with horse racing getting the green light to carry on. Wilkie instead reneged on an earlier recommendation that it should be banned on horse racing and added: “To be safe I won’t go down this rabbit hole, in fact to be safe I’ll retract what I said earlier.”
In terms of the online gaming industry, the committee didn’t reach a consensus on the best way forward and made a request for more research to be done. They did, however, call for a ban on links and advertising to international online gambling sites.
Government officials have been railing against the gaming industry for a while now and you only have to point them to a country on the opposite side of the globe to show that strict prevention isn’t the way forward. In the UK, the gaming industry is just treated as another facet of the country’s entertainment and it means that adverts are commonplace as long as they’re not misleading. Australia has a rich sporting culture, much like the UK, and planning to ban all daytime advertising to help the children isn’t the best way to go about things.
Banning advertising ultimately won’t halt people gambling and a better way to stop children accessing it is to make sure controls on the verification process are watertight. They could also take the UK’s lead in looking at education for youngsters on how to handle the online gaming industry. This has been attacked by some of the UK’s mainstream media due to the exposure it gives youngsters to gambling. Although by introducing young people to gambling early on it’s less likely they’ll develop a gambling problem and that’s a view backed by the venerable Dr. Patrick Basham.