AUSSIE TERRITORY WARNS ON INTERNET SPORTS BETTING
15th September, 2011 at 04:03:43
Victoria's new advertising campaign is seen by some as a declaration of war on online betting
Victoria, the southern and second most populous state in Australia, has launched an anti-online gambling advertising campaign tackling the issue of online sports betting head on.
Using the base-line "Online gambling. It's easy to bet, too easy to lose," the campaign cautions how money, careers and relationships can be jeopardised from excessive online gambling.
The initiative is being hailed as an Australian first, and the only campaign of its type to specifically address interactive gambling technologies available via smartphones, tablets, computers and interactive televisions.
[Online gambling] accessibility, while convenient for some, poses real risks to others of increased problem gambling
, said Minister for Gaming Michael O'Brien in a statement.
O'Brien added: "New technology such as tablet computers, interactive television and smart phones means that it is easier than ever for Victorians to gamble from any location at any time."
The Minister was joined at the launch by Professor Dan Lubman, director of Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre which runs the Gambler's Help phone line and Gambling Help Online services.
"The ease of being able to gamble online can make it harder to stay in control. Whether it's day or night, gambling online is accessible anytime, making it more difficult to keep track of how much you spend," Professor Lubman claimed.
Backing the campaign, the Victoria government released research results Thursday showing:
- 2.9% of Victorians use the internet to gamble amid claims that online gambling is rising from 10% to 20% per year;*
- A study estimates Australians will lose $611 million through online sports betting in 2011, up from $262 million in 2006; this has to be seen against the comparative background of a reported A$12 billion Aussies spend on terrestrial "pokies" annually
- In 2010, the Productivity Commission found that online poker and sports wagering appeared to be the fastest growing forms of gambling, and recommended that the industry be regulated, a suggestion rejected by the federal government.
Minister O'Brien said the timing of the campaign launch was deliberate, to coincide with the Spring Racing Carnival and AFL finals. Advertising will appear on television and radio, the internet, and in newspapers and in physical advertising on public transport.
* A Study of Gambling in Victoria Problem Gambling from a Public Health Perspective, 2009; Gainsbury and Blaszczynski, 2011.
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