Gambling Watchdog Plans Crackdown In South Australia

[image credit : ArtsHub]

Betting companies in South Australia will be forced to display anti-gambling messages through advertising under a new code of practice that has been proposed by the state watchdog, the Independent Gambling Authority.

The code, which will force the companies to display messages on television adverts and on playing kits, is set to be introduced in December as the second phase of a reform package that includes a ban on live-odds betting advertising.

The regulator has issued a draft gambling code of practice, with plans for 48 further changes, including prominent warning messages, including “gamble responsibly”, “don’t let the game play you” and “think of the people who need your support”.

Television advertisements will be required to include a warning message covering a quarter of the screen for at least one sixth of the running time. Radio and television adverts will also include spoken warnings, and in some cases phone numbers for counselling services will be provided.

Fixed billboards will have to feature warnings covering at least 10% of the advert, while moving signs would need a warning covering at least 25% of the advert.

Sponsorship logos larger than 540 square centimetres on playing kits would need to have a “gamble responsibly” warning, at least half the size of the logo, placed next to them.

Clubs could avoid placing warning messages on uniforms if the bookmakers agree to pay for anti-gambling advertisements, according to the website.

“The commercial gambling providers have really been dreadful in their compliance with the mandatory warning message requirements,” Independent Gambling Authority director Robert Chappell told the Advertiser.

“Rather than have fights with them about what it means, there’s going to be page after page in this new code about how you need to use mandatory warning messages.

“If there’d been some moderate compliance by some of the bigger operators, where they’d shown some commitment to balancing the power of their advertising, then there wouldn’t have been an argument for the Authority to be so prescriptive.”

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