by Mateusz Mazur

Victoria’s Call for Stricter Online Gaming Ad Regulations

Recent deliberations by a parliamentary committee have spotlighted the escalating issue of online gaming advertisements in Victoria, Australia.

Taking a cue from South Australia’s stringent stance, the committee advocates for a prohibition of such ads during peak hours. This recommendation emerges amidst reports indicating a substantial surge in online gaming promotions.

PAEC’s Emphasis on Protective Measures

The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) has underscored the urgency for robust legislation safeguarding Victoria’s citizens, particularly children and young people.

The committee’s focus is clear: mitigate the exposure of these vulnerable groups to gaming advertisements, especially during prime time and in public spaces.

Insights from Sarah Connolly, Committee President

Sarah Connolly, chairing the committee, elaborated in a parliamentary address: “Our culture often normalizes drinking alcohol and casino gambling. With the proliferation of social media and digital technology, this trend has only intensified.”

The committee’s extensive eight-month analysis encompassed reports from three Auditors-General, scrutinizing online gaming and alcohol regulations and strategies to reduce gambling-related harm. The committee’s conclusions, drawn from 54 public submissions, public hearings, a site visit in Geelong, and a youth roundtable, culminated in 96 findings and 61 recommendations.

Valuable Contributions from the Youth

Commending the young participants, Connolly noted their crucial role in sharing “lived experiences,” thus enriching the committee’s process. This recommendation aligns with the growing public demand for tighter ad restrictions.

Earlier this year, a federal committee proposed a gradual elimination of all gaming and casino advertisements over three years. In response, state governments have been actively introducing reforms to curb gambling-related harm, including credit card usage bans for gaming, regulating poker machines, and further restrictions on ad timings.

Our Comment on the Article

The committee’s recommendations mark a significant step towards a more socially responsible gaming culture. By placing the well-being of young citizens at the forefront, Victoria sets a precedent in balancing technological advancements with societal health.

These measures, though seemingly stringent, reflect a growing awareness of the impact of unchecked gaming promotions on vulnerable demographics. The actions taken by the government and committees like PAEC demonstrate a commendable commitment to public welfare, acknowledging the need for a harmonious coexistence between digital entertainment and societal values.

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