Australia: New regulations mandate online gambling ads to highlight potential harms

Published on:

According to a new set of guidelines in Australia as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework, online gambling operators must inform their consumers that “chances are you’re about to lose.”

Amanda Rishworth, the social services minister, will be announcing the changes today. The federal government will mandate what it calls the first set of nationally uniform warnings regarding the possible risks of online gambling.

Online gambling companies currently only show “gamble responsibly” in their advertisements, but from early next year, all the online gambling companies will be required to broadcast a set of messages in their ads which they show through TV, apps, digital or print advertising, radio, social media, and websites.

The new taglines include:

Chances are you’re about to lose.
Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?
What’s gambling really costing you?
What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit.
Imagine what you could be buying instead.
You win some. You lose more.
What are you really gambling with?

These taglines must also be accompanied by the advisory, “For free and confidential support, call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au.”

In order to prevent “message fatigue” for customers, an updated version of the consumer protection framework will also require gambling operators to guarantee a complete rotation of the taglines over a 12-month period.

“Online wagering is fast becoming an increasing source of gambling and an increasing source of loss for people.” “We have consulted widely and, importantly, we have used evidence to inform these taglines,” Rishworth said.

A parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and gambling harm was recently launched by the government. It will examine “existing consumer protections, counseling and support services, education programs, regulation and licensing schemes, and whether or not ‘gambling-like activities’ in video games like loot boxes or social casino games” should be covered by existing laws.

According to the government, Australia has the largest gambling losses of any nation, with an average annual loss of A$1,276 per person. Problem gambling rates have increased significantly as well, from 0.6% of the adult population in 2011 to 1.23% in 2019.

A report from Central Queensland University shows that the rate of problem gambling among online users is significantly higher, at 3.9% of all online gamblers, compared to 1.4% of gamblers who use poker machines. The government said the “interactive wagering business” is worth A$6.3 billion, compared to A$9 billion for electronic gaming.

 

Related