‘You Lose More’: Australia Forces Gambling Ads To Include Warnings

‘You Lose More’: Australia Forces Gambling Ads To Include Warnings

Australia has started to force gambling ads to include warnings about the potential harm of online gambling after a reported rise of gambling addicts in the country. The requirement of new advertising taglines is based on new behavioural research indicating a rise in rates of problem gambling amongst online punters in Australia.

Online casinos in Australia will therefore have to use new tag lines in their gambling advertisements. The Australian government has revealed a total of seven new tag lines that are meant to replace the current ‘Gamble Responsibly’ tag line that is considered too broad and monotonous. Online casinos operating in Australia will need to use all 7 tag lines over a period of one year. The idea is to rotate between the different tag lines.

Make Sure To Read: Survey Shows 7 in 10 Australians Support Gambling Ad Ban

New Measures Announced by the Australian Government

Following an increase in the number of problem gamblers due to online gambling in Australia, the government has announced a set of new measures. Online casinos in Australia will soon be required to display and include new tag lines in their advertisements. The new rules apply to all forms of advertising, including print media, online ads, and ads on television and radio, according to The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The new rules of the National Consumer Protection Framework were announced this week by the Secretary of State for Social Affairs, Amanda Rishworth. According to Rishworth, the measures are necessary as online gambling is rapidly becoming an increasingly large market in Australia:

“Online gambling is quickly becoming an increasing part of gambling and has largely contributed to financial losses amongst consumers. We have performed thorough research about this matter and have found evidence that the seven tag lines can make a significant contribution to the awareness about the risk of gambling amongst players.”

Amanda Rishwourth, Minister for Social Affairs.

More Than Gamble Responsibly Only

Currently, online gambling companies that operate in Australia only tell their users to “gamble responsibly”. From early next year, online gambling companies will be required to run a set of new tag lines in ads they share via different channels. These include:

  • TV.
  • Radio.
  • Apps.
  • Digital advertising.
  • Print advertising.
  • Social media.
  • Their own websites.

There are seven different tag lines that need to be used by operators that market their gambling products on the previously mentioned channels. These include:

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

In TV and radio commercials, online providers are required to pronounce the tag line ‘calmly and slowly’ so that it can be clearly understood by the spectator or listener. In addition to the cautionary tag lines, ads in Australia must also include multiple references to help lines and organisations that can assist problem gamblers. These references include “For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 and “Visit gamblinghelponline.org.au”.

All Tag Lines Need to be Used

To prevent viewers from getting tired of the mandatory tag lines and losing attention, online casinos are required to rotate between the previously mentioned available options. It is therefore not allowed to continuously use one of the seven tag lines. Over a period of 12 months, an online casino is expected to use all tag lines at least once.

The chosen slogans were chosen after a large-scale behavioural research. The government has outsourced research about the functionality of how the current forms of consumer protection vs. the risks of online gambling and which slogans have more effect on the behaviour of online gamblers.

According to the Australian government, on average, Australian gamblers lose more than in other countries. The percentage of problem gamblers doubled from 0.6% in 2011 to 1.23% in 2019 and punters in the country are reported to lose an average of A$1,276 (NZ$ 2,157) per person per year. Whether this is actually the highest average loss per person of all countries, as claimed by the Australian government, is debatable.

Gambling in Australia

Gambling regulation in Australia happens on two levels. The national government plays an active role in both the supervision of gambling activities and the addition or amendment of relevant gambling laws. However, regulation also takes place at state and territory level by different regional authorities. Something to point out is that Australia has very favourable tax laws on a national level when it comes to gambling. Gambling in Australia is considered a recreational activity meaning that the winnings from gambling are not taxed.

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