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Anti-gambling advertising group pushes for new advertising code

The Australian Association of National Advertising is pushing for a code that could see gambling operators financially penalized for showing “irresponsible” ads to vulnerable people, such as children, local media reports.

According to the association, the code will include all advertising platforms including print, television, radio and online. The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation also chimed in, adding that financial punishments could be needed to ensure the code is enforced.

"Sanctions and penalties should be sufficient to deter breaches of the rules. This includes the ability to enforce removal and adequate modification prior to reuse," said the foundation.

According to the Australian Bureau of Advertising, 692 complaints were made relating to 94 gambling ads in the last 6 years.

The Australian Wagering Council, led by chief executive Ian Fletcher also backed the new code’s provisions, stressing the importance of advertising responsibly.

"While advertising may be considered intrusive for some, wagering providers should be free to promote their services by ensuring their advertising conforms to accepted social standards, and does not promote harmful behaviour, or make implicit promises that undermine those standards,"  said AWC in its submission.

Earlier this month, the NSW government made the decision to ban the advertising of live betting odds during sports matches.

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