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Media releases

Gambling ads take over televised sport

For immediate release – 30 April 2014

If you’re someone who loves their televised sport and you’re sick and tired of the creep of gambling advertising in the game, you’re not alone.

Researchers from La Trobe University have found that footy fans are exposed to more than five minutes of broadcast gambling advertising on average at an AFL match, and on-field gambling advertising far outweighed other advertising during commercial breaks, particularly during Test and international cricket.

“With the noticeable rise in gambling ads during televised sport coverage, one has to ask what damage is being done to families and especially children who love their sport but are now being targeted by carefully crafted ads promoting gambling,” President of the NSW Council of Churches, the Reverend Dr Ross Clifford, said.

“Tragically some of those kids will become addicted to gambling, and some families will be torn apart and suffer untold misery because mum or dad saw the ads and placed a bet, and then another and another, until they reached a point where they couldn’t stop,” Dr Clifford said.

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo said children were now growing up in an environment where everywhere they look they are being told to gamble, and the lessons of alcohol and tobacco suggested on-field advertising was highly effective at encouraging certain behaviours.

The NSW Council of Churches supports government and industry measures to curb problem gambling including stronger regulation of gambling advertising.

“The current NSW Government inquiry into the gambling industry is a welcome move and we hope that recommendations will be made resulting in effective harm minimisation and improved public health outcomes for those at risk of problem gambling and their families,” Council President Dr Ross Clifford said.

Media contact Rod Benson 0412 421 678

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