Episode 16: Gambling advertising in sport

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Gambling advertising has been a part of sport for the past decade. At its height gambling spokespeople were on the sideline and acting like commentators.

Nowadays there is research showing that gambling advertising is beginning to affect children who are watching sport and normalising gambling.

Hannah Pitt from Deakin University joins the show this week to discuss her research about gambling advertising in sport.

Hannah’s research has shown that children are associating gambling with online games that are low-risk and “fun”, when they are anything but.

In 2017 the Australian Federal Government introduced new gambling advertising laws to prevent them being shown during children’s viewing hours, however there is a caveat that allows them to be aired during a sporting event.

The other contributing factor is the willingness of sporting codes to welcome sports betting companies as sponsors, allowing advertising on team wear, signage and, in some cases, stadium naming rights.

Sports betting companies don’t aim their advertisements at children, they can’t bet, but their advertisements are seen as fun and have been proven to condition children to believe betting is a fun, safe pursuit that is completely normal.

Hannah would like to see the banning of the majority of sports betting advertisements, removing interruptions in play such as live odds updates and she’d also like to see the sporting codes take responsibility.

While there may be some economic impacts for sporting codes, much like the codes faced with tobacco, there will always be more sponsors lining up in a different industry ready to step into the breach.

More information on Hannah’s research is available here.

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