Betting Advertising is Making Sport Less Enjoyable and Family-Friendly, New Research Finds

April 5, 2023 | Advertising

March 2023, Australia’s renowned love of sport is being negatively impacted by the proliferation of betting advertising, a new report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) has revealed.

The new report details a high level of concern from Australian adults, as 69% believe that sport and race betting advertising is ‘too common’ and makes sport ‘less family-friendly (60%). It also demonstrates strong support for Government-led action to address the issue, as two in five participants backed outright bans on ‘sponsorship of sporting teams/clubs’ and ‘sponsorship of sports coverage’ by betting companies.

With almost half (46%) of respondents reporting that wagering advertising is decreasing their enjoyment of sport, Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, Executive Manager of the Australian Gambling Research Centre, says the research indicates that betting advertising is having a negative effect on Australia’s sporting culture.

“Betting advertising is eroding Australia’s love of sport, which has been a part of our national identity for many years. We’re now seeing a significant level of concern about the relationship between gambling companies, Australian sporting teams and sports coverage” she said.

More than half of Australians (53%) believe that betting advertising ‘normalises gambling among children’, or makes ‘betting seem like a normal part of sport’ (69%), while the report also found a link between exposure to wagering advertising and riskier betting behaviour.

Young people (aged 18–34 years) are significantly impacted, as one in five young women (19%) and one in seven young men (15%) started betting for the first time after seeing or hearing an ad on TV. Among individuals who were at risk of gambling harm, 41% reported trying a new form of betting, and 40% bet on impulse, as a result of seeing or hearing wagering advertising.

“We know the harms that gambling causes – at an individual, family, and societal level – including impacts on finances, relationships, and health and wellbeing This research shows that exposure to wagering advertising, which is often via coverage of sports, is leading to riskier betting behaviour and escalating the likelihood of experiencing gambling harms”, says Dr Jenkinson.

Director of AIFS, Dr Sharman Stone, says the new research also demonstrates the community’s support for strong action on wagering advertising, and a desire for governments to lead the way.

“This report highlights the urgent need for change, with strong support for outright bans on wagering advertising. This reflects a high-level of awareness in Australian society that gambling is a significant cause of harm, which must be addressed”, said Dr Stone.

The report revealed that 64% of Australians believe that governments should play the biggest role in how wagering is advertised, with 53% supporting an outright ban on wagering advertising across all platforms before 10:30pm, and 47% supporting a ban across all social media platforms.

Access the full report: Gambling participation, the experience of harm and community views.

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Family Studies.

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