Australian Deputy Premier Challenges Gambling Ads
South Australia Deputy Premier John Rau told local media he is concerned about online gambling ads that target children after receiving “disturbing” complaints of unsolicited ads being sent to vulnerable people.
Rau said the ads also offer incentives to entice people to gamble without obtaining proof of age information before signing up customers.
“We have unsolicited bait advertising; cold canvassing and no proof of age or identity being required to commence betting. Imagine if this were the case with tobacco or alcohol,” he said, according to a report in the South Australia newspaper The Advertiser. “It should be just as hard to establish a betting account as it is to establish a bank account.”
Rau also called for a regulatory crackdown on advertising through social media or “cold calling” to minors or people who are barred from gaming due to a gambling addiction.
Rau said he will publicly name any operator not ensuring they complete age and identity checks before allowing new accounts, as well as any who are advertising to minors or other vulnerable people.
“A person can easily open an account with online gambling services without verification of their age or other relevant details,” he told the paper. “Under current rules providers can have up to 90 days to verify a person’s identity. This may obviously not occur before a lot of money has been wagered.”
Rau also urged anyone who has been targeted by such ads to report it to the government.