The “gamble responsibly” messaging required to be on all betting ads and apps will soon be scrapped and replaced by new rotating taglines.
All online betting companies will be required to implement new more-engaging taglines by March next year. They are intended to prompt gamblers to consider the consequences of losing a bet.
There will be at least seven different taglines that will accompany gambling ads on billboards, TV, video, digital, radio, print and social media.
The new taglines include: “Chances are you’re about to lose”, “Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?”, “What’s gambling really costing you?” and “What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit”.
The taglines were chosen off the back of research commissioned by the federal Department of Social Services which surveyed regular online gamblers about their habits and how they responded to safety messaging.
It concluded “rotating different messages reduced the likelihood of [consumers] ‘tuning out’ to the message in a short space of time — as was an often-reported response to the ‘gamble responsibly’ tagline”.
Of the seven taglines, it found “chances are you’re about to lose” was the most effective.
Gambling is a major problem in Australia. We have higher gambling losses per capita than any other country at $1276 per year. Problem gambling is also far more prevalent among online betters than any other form of betting. The rate of problem gamblers among online gamblers is three times the rate among those who hit the pokies.
Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said online betting was “fast becoming an increasing source of gambling and an increasing source of loss for people”.
“The Albanese Labor government is committed to harm minimisation and practical solutions when it comes to addressing problem online wagering,” she said.
“We have consulted widely and, importantly, we have used evidence to inform these taglines.”
Chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform Tim Costello said the changes were a “step forward” because the “gamble responsibly” line was stigmatising and acted to “silence people, shame them and blame them”.
But he also pointed out it wasn’t enough to tackle our national gambling epidemic.
“It’s not enough when we have 943 sports betting ads on free-to-air TV a day,” Costello said.
“A responsible step from the government would be to actually limit or ban – as Italy and Spain have done – all sports betting ads”.