Online gambling inquiry hears from concerned Tasmanian grandmother who says children are at risk
Nine-year-old boy recites gambling catchphrases, inquiry hears
A Tasmanian grandmother says her nine year old grandson is able to recite Sportsbet gambling advertisements and is concerned over the "insane" number of such ads viewable on multiple media platforms.
In a submission to the inquiry looking at online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm, the woman said current protections to reduce online gambling are not effective, and more was needed to safeguard the development of a new generation of problem gamblers.
She said it was too easy to access online gambling, with video games such as Minecraft and unchecked mobile phone usage priming children for gambling later in life.
"The next generation are being groomed to become problem gamblers without them even knowing it," the grandmother said.
"We are a nation of sports fanatics, we watch sports of all types and as a result we are exposed to the gambling ads, big dollars paid for by the operators and shown through the multiple media platforms," she said.
"My 9 year old grandson recites the multi sports bet catchphrase, he clearly has no idea what it is about but it is also just as clear that the slogan is now ingrained into his psyche. It is distasteful and aggressive, [and] there is no consideration of the effects this type of infiltration has on our children."
The woman said greater controls were needed to prevent children from accessing any form of online gambling, including a ban on gambling advertisements.
In addition, parents should be educated about gambling technology and the ease in which programs can be purchased and payments made.
"There needs to be more stringent mechanisms in place to stop the operators taking advantage of people. It is really tiring and infuriating, there is no liability against the operators and no sense of responsibility for their actions."
Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Ferguson said in his submission to the inquiry that the government recognises the risks of online gambling in the community, particularly to children and other vulnerable people.
He said several community education programs existed to prevent and reduce gambling harm, including the Know Your Odds campaign, and the Give Change a Chance campaign.
"The government also recognises that a small but significant proportion of gamblers continue to suffer harm because of gambling and as a consequence a strong regulatory framework is essential."
Mr Ferguson said routine default pre-commitment programs are the gold standard in harm minimisation and their use on online gambling platforms should be explored.
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