Responsible gambling advocacy groups in Australia continue call for a further ban on sports betting advertisements
As global sports betting companies Flutter Entertainment and Entain Group continue to grow strongly in Australia, responsible gambling advocacy groups across the country are continuing to call for a further ban on sports betting advertisements.
Flutter, which owns the popular Aussie betting brand Sportsbet, recorded year-on-year growth of 59 per cent in Australia for 2020, while Entain which owns Ladbrokes and Neds, saw a similarly strong annual revenue increase of 55 per cent in the country.
Overall, Flutter Entertainment recorded growth of just 23 per cent, across all countries, making Australia the company’s top-performing market with 675,000 new customers signing up with Sportsbet.
Entertain Group’s overall revenue was flat between 2019 and 2020, largely due to the closure of many UK-based betting shops, but Australia was a top market for the company with only Brazil’s 56 per cent increase in revenue surpassing Australia’s 55 per cent.
The growth of these brands comes on the back of a surge in online gambling activity in Australia which began and continued, after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Statista, the average male monthly expenditure on gambling rose from $594 before Covid-19 to $770 after Covid-19.
A study of over 2000 bettors conducted by the Australian Institute of Family Studies also found that one in three had created a new betting account during the pandemic with the number of respondents who bet more than four times in a week jumping to 32 per cent from 23 per cent.
According to MyBettingSites.com, betting sites in Australia must already follow numerous betting regulations which include a ban on live online betting and the advertisement of betting bonuses. Despite this, advocacy groups in Australia want to take betting restrictions a step further.
Alliance for Gambling Reform chief advocate Tim Costello told the Sydney Morning Herald that he believes gambling advertisements are causing Aussies to gamble more and also with their savings.
“We must nip this in the bud right now, and the quickest and easiest way to do so is to end gambling advertising. Other countries have done so, including Italy, because they recognise the harm gambling does, and that it is completely inappropriate to promote it,” Costello said.
Australian sports teams are also getting behind the movement to stem the tide of Australians betting online with the Sydney Swans AFL club and Macarthur FC A-league football team joining the Big Bash cricket league in eliminating betting advertisements.
The initiative sees the Sydney based sports clubs partnering with the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling to end all sponsorships and advertisements at the games, while all Big Bash matches played in NSW will also be ad-free.
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