It’s becoming increasingly difficult to not let online gambling ads wash over you. They dominate free-to-air and pay TV. The ads themselves are glitzy, blokey, and trying very hard to be clever. They are also filling our public spaces – on backs of taxis, billboards and of course at sporting fixtures.
One newcomer to Victoria, UBET, is breathtaking in its audacity. Former Test cricketer, Andrew Symonds, takes on the role of a tour guide at a Punters Academy, saying that ‘we are coming up with more ways to bet’.
Another more recent arrival, Palmerbet, is trying to pun on the Australian slang of ‘a dead cert’ to describe the certainty of a win. ‘Make a moral of it this racing carnival’ the betting agency trumpets on the back of a taxi. Is it trying to suggest that gambling is a moral imperative?
There are at least 11 online betting organisations currently operating in the Australian market. Punters are encouraged to bet not just on major sporting codes, but also on reality TV shows! Many of these have only entered the market in the last three or four years, which equates with the gambling advertising by stealth we have seen. Odds are given throughout games, promoted by commentators, talked up in advertorials. They are inescapable.
Richmond Football Club is partnering with Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in a campaign which attempts to put the focus back on the pleasure of sport, not in predicting the odds. The two groups are particularly concerned about the impact on children who now assume gambling is just a normal part of sport.
Do you believe this proliferation of gambling advertisements is just part of life or have you noticed it is normalising gambling for your own children?