UNICEF wants tougher gambling ad restrictions in Australia

19 January 2018

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has urged Australia’s government to introduce greater restrictions on gambling advertisements in the country.

In May of last year, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a ban on betting ads on television, radio and the internet during sports events broadcast live between the hours of 5am and 8:30pm.

However, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, although UNICEF has praised Turnbull and his government for their efforts so far, it said that more must be done to protect children from gambling-related harm in the country.

Citing recent research, UNICEF said as many as 82% of teenagers are gambling each year in Australia, while 15% of youngsters aged between 12 and 17 are at risk of developing a serious gambling problem.

UNICEF has suggested that the parameters of the current ban be extended to also include the “known peak viewing times” for youngsters aged under 17, through to 9pm.

“This requires that the best interests of children as a group should be given priority by the parliament in determining both the scope of the restriction and the implementation pathway,” UNICEF said.

Related article: Australia to ban betting ads during live sports events