The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has applauded the Federal Government’s move to curb problem gambling by banning betting ads from live sporting events on TV and radio before 8.30pm.

Mr Wilkie said the move that bans ads during live sports broadcasts, and five minutes before and five minutes after, was a good first step but the Government should go further and ban all gambling ads during children’s viewing times and extend the G-rating to cover things like the Big Bash.

Mr Wilkie has campaigned for such a ban for years and said gambling ads in sports broadcasts during G-rated viewing periods was normalising gambling for children and had to stop.

Sports betting is the fastest growing area of gambling losses – the figures show $814m was lost by Australians in the 2014-15 financial year – and sports broadcasts are thick with betting ads.

“We know that children are especially susceptible to advertising and hero worship, and that gambling advertising has a real and measurable impact on the children who are subjected to it,’’ Mr Wilkie said.

“For example a Deakin University study last year showed that three quarters of children surveyed could recall at least one sports betting brand, and one quarter of children could identify four or more. The study also showed that children as young as eight could recall things like bonus bets and cash-back refunds after watching sports broadcasts.”

“As a father of two young daughters I well understand the community concern about the impact on children. Clearly the restrictions during G-rated periods are designed to protect children from inappropriate advertising.”

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