CrownBet chief Matthew Tripp has taken up the cudgels for Australia’s sports betting industry which is now under fire for a spike of gambling losses in the land down under.
Interviewed by radio news station 3AW, Tripp pointed out that the sports betting industry is small to take the brunt of the blame on the spike of gambling losses in Australia. The latest nationwide gambling figures show Australians lost almost US$17.5 billion through gambling in 2015.
While half of the amount was on pokie machines, there was also a 30 per cent increase from sports betting.
Trip said that the government made an erroneous interpretation on the latest Australian gambling data.
“I think when you look at the 30 percent increase, I think you have to look at the wagering market as a whole not just the 30 percent increase in the sport align in isolation. And wagering market as whole, is growing broadly in line with the economy, low single digit by comparison to some areas of gambling,” Tripp said. “When looking at the wagering and isolation, which is the space we are playing, it is growing at a very small rate as whole and there’s a misconception out there in the market that there’s a boom of wagering going to the roof.”
Although he is in favor of tighter restrictions, Tripp warned that a blanket ban on advertising would cause more harm than good since “it’ll force a lot of these gambling dollars back offshore into an unregulated environment.”
“We need to a little bit careful what we wish for. I think a blanket ban is fraught with danger,” he said. “We’ve worked so hard to make sure that we are operators in a heavily regulated market here in Australia.”
The Australian Gambling Statistics (AGS) have shown that Australians lost around US$950 per head over the course of 2014-15, with pokie machines providing the largest windfall for game operators, with losses totaling US$8.85 billion.
But, surprisingly, a 30-percent increase in sports gambling losses was recorded, contributing to an overall increase of 7.7 percent in gambling losses for the 2014-15 financial year.
But even before the AGS released the statistics on Australia’s gambling loss, the State of Victoria pushing for a sports betting ban ad on public transport and near schools.
Marlene Kairouz said sports betting ads would be banned in a number of places including areas frequented by children under the plan.
“What we’re wanting to do is ensure they’re no longer exposed to betting advertisements while they go to and from school each day,” she said, according to ABC News.
“This is supported by community concerns about the impact of gambling advertising, in particular because it normalises gambling amongst our most vulnerable, including children.”