It’s not an everyday occurrence when an online gambling company asks government regulators for more curbs on advertising, but that’s exactly what’s happening in the red hot Australian gambling market.
In an interview with The Australian (subscription required) late last week, Sportbet CEO Cormac Barry voiced his wish for regulatory curbs on advertising for Aussie bookmakers.
Barry might seem like an odd voice to be calling for this kind of regulation, but he’s definitely acting out of self interest.
Most Australian gambling companies are locked in an advertising arms race that’s incredibly expensive and doesn’t look to have any end in sight.
In 2015 alone, Australian gambling companies spent a total of $147 million on advertising. That’s enough to make the industry the fourth largest advertising sector in the country and, according to Calvinayre.com, represents a whopping 326% increase over what the industry was spending in 2012.
Of course budgetary concerns and marketing salaries weren’t the reasons Barry gave for calling for advertising curbs, he was just thinking about, “the community,” telling The Australian he just wants:
…to strike an appropriate balance between legitimate community concerns about advertising, such as whether wagering advertising is appropriate in certain public areas or on sporting team merchandise, while enabling wagering companies to advertise their service.
Barry’s call for regulation comes as Australian gambling critics are becoming increasingly vocal about the sheer volume of gambling advertising the average Aussie is subjected to on a daily basis. As recently as last year, Sportbet was criticized for accepting wagers on an Australian song contest that’s aimed mainly at adolescents.
Other Australian gambling operators have joined Barry in his call for increased and updated gaming regulations for the Down Under-facing side of the gaming industry.