Anthony Albanese, Australia PM
Anthony Albanese, Australia PM

Australia introduces new hard hitting mandatory gambling messaging

Australia has overhauled the country’s responsible gambling messaging, notably ditching the ‘gamble responsibly’ phrase, according to international media reports.

In its place, the Labor Party government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has introduced seven new phrases to be implemented across gambling advertising and marketing in the country. 

The new messages, which are set to be rolled out across televised – including during sporting events – radio, digital and print, social media and web and app verticals, are:

  • ‘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?

The new taglines take a more hard-hitting approach to safer gambling promotion, reminding bettors about potential losses and implications of gambling as opposed to the messaging behind encouraging responsible betting. 

Explaining the government’s rationale behind the new messaging, Amanda Rishworth, Minister of Social Services – the Department (DoSS) responsible for the National Consumer Protection Framework for Online Wagering – pointed to the rise in usage of web betting.

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

In support of its evaluation, the DoSS sought the views of 30 regular online bettors, before developing and agreeing the seven new messages as part of the aforementioned framework with the governments of Australia’s states and territories, as well as the Federal Administration. 

Additionally, operators will also be required to include a message signposting bettors to the national gambling advisory network – “For free and confidential support call 1800 858 858 or visit gamblinghelponline.org.au”.

Australian betting operators – which includes the likes of bet365, Sportsbet, Entain’s Ladbrokes, as well as Neds brands and Tabcorp’s Tab – will be required to rotate the taglines over a 12 month period to avoid ‘fatigue’ among consumers.

The announcement comes as gambling in Australia falls under an increasingly attentive political and public spotlight – back in September the Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs of the House of Representatives launched an inquiry into the sector.

Specifically, the parliamentarians seek to examine gambling’s societal impact and consumer protection issues, such as effectiveness of existing online problem gambling protections – which the DoSS has now apparently addressed – and quality of access to online gambling education programmes.

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