Further gambling law reform still to come

November 03, 2022 02:06 PM AEDT | By AAPNEWS
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Australians struggling with problem gambling are a priority for the federal government with changes to messaging and a new exclusion register flagged as the first of many harm-reduction measures. 

But while Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth finds the number of gambling advertisements played on TV "pretty annoying", she stopped short of committing to reforming advertising laws before the next election. 

From March next year, betting companies like Ladbrokes, Sportsbet and TAB will ditch the well-known "Gamble responsibly" slogan at the end of advertisements and replace it with new, government-approved ones.

The new mottos include "Chances are you're about to lose", "You win some. You lose more", "What's gambling really costing you?" and "What are you really gambling with?"

A free national gambling self-exclusion register is also set to be rolled out by the end of the year to help people manage their access to betting services.

But Nationals Leader David Littleproud said the government's changes did not go far enough, and that the focus needs to be on whether gambling advertisements should be played on TV at all. 

"Children are exposed to gambling ads as soon as they start watching sport on television or online and that's often from a very young age," he said.

"Changes to online betting ads need a common sense approach and a discussion about how to protect children from gambling."

Ms Rishworth said one of the first issues she was briefed on in her portfolio was gambling harm and she was committed to taking action. 

But she will wait for recommendations from the parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and talk with her state and territory counterparts before committing to advertising law reform.  

"What I want to be done is grounded in good evidence and good research ... I want to work with my state and territory colleagues and also work with the House of Representatives standing committee," she told the National Press Club on Thursday.

She said online gambling in particular was an area on which she wanted to focus.

"Australia has one of the highest per capita (gambling) losses in the OECD so it's an area that we can't not put our attention on," she said. 


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