Betting advertising linked to riskier gambling behaviour and greater harm, new research finds

Content type
Media release

March 2023


Rebecca Jenkinson, Cailem Murray Boyle, Kei Sakata, Nancy Greer, Uma Jatkar, Brian Vandenberg

A strong link between exposure to betting advertising and riskier gambling behaviour has been revealed, with the release of a new report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre at the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS).

The new report details the effect of prolific wagering advertising in Australia - and a high-level of support for Government-led action, including outright bans on these ads - with 78% of Australian adults reporting seeing or hearing sports and/or race betting advertising at least once a week in the past 12 months; with two in five (41%) being exposed four or more times a week.

Director of AIFS, Dr Sharman Stone, says “This new research also demonstrates the community’s support for strong action on wagering advertising, and they want governments to lead the way”.

“This report highlights the urgent need for change, with strong support for outright bans on wagering advertising. This reflects a high-level of awareness in Australian society that gambling is a significant cause of harm, which must be addressed”, said Dr Stone.

The report revealed that 64% of Australians believe that governments should play the biggest role in how wagering is advertised, with 53% supporting an outright ban on wagering advertising across all platforms before 10:30pm, and 47% supporting a ban across all social media platforms.

The report highlights that exposure to wagering advertising had the greatest impact on young people (aged 18–34 years) and people at-risk of gambling harm; with one in five young women (19%) and one in seven young men (15%) started betting for the first time after seeing or hearing an ad on TV. Among individuals who were at risk of gambling harm, 41% reported trying a new form of betting, and 40% bet on impulse, as a result of seeing or hearing betting advertisements.

Dr Rebecca Jenkinson, Executive Manager, Australian Gambling Research Centre, says the research clearly shows the potential harm that exposure to betting advertising can cause.

“We know the harms that gambling causes - at an individual, family, and societal level – including impacts on finances, relationships, and health and wellbeing. This research shows that exposure to wagering advertising is leading to riskier betting behaviour and escalating the likelihood of experiencing gambling harms.

The report also captures the concerns of the Australian public that wagering advertising normalises gambling activity. Most believe sport and race betting is ‘too common’ (69%) and ‘makes sport less family friendly’ (60%).

Access the full report: Gambling participation, experience of harm and community views.

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