Australian Gamblers In For Rude Awakening With New, Targeted Sloganeering

Chances are, they could work.

Australian Gamblers In For Rude Awakening With New, Targeted Sloganeering

Image: Betoota Advocate

Having an occasional flutter at the races or a punt on the pokies is all well and good, but when a hobby turns into addiction, it can send Australian gamblers down a wormhole they can never get out of. To help prevent gambling addiction, the Australian government is set to release new taglines detailing the potential pitfalls.

For years the tagline “Gamble Responsibly” has been plastered all over pokie rooms, casinos, advertisements and within betting apps, but it seems the words continue to fall on deaf ears. Indeed, Australia is regarded as one of the most flutter-happy countries in the world. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, “Australians lost approximately $25 billion on legal forms of gambling in 2018–19, representing the largest per capita losses in the world.”

Estimates also suggested around 35% of Australians over 18 “spent money in a ‘typical month’ on 1 or more gambling activities in 2018.” The results of DMARGE’s most recent Men’s Matters study found that Australian men are most likely to give up gambling, along with drugs and luxury goods, when “s*** hits the fan.”

The study also found, “57% of Australian men are worried about their financial future (with 30-40 year old’s being the most affected, and Sydneysiders being the worst).”

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So now, the Albanese government is stepping in with seven new taglines that have been carefully written, with the aim to provide greater awareness of the consequences of gambling. According to B & T, the new taglines will accompany gambling advertising “across TV, video, digital, radio, print and social media,” and will be required to be implemented by March 2023.

Stepping things up a notch from the, let’s be honest, bland “Gamble Responsibly,” the new taglines will include, “Chances are you’re about to lose”; “Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?”; “What’s gambling really costing you?” and “What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit.”

The taglines haven’t just been concocted by cynics, but are the result of hard and fast research conducted by Hall and Partners in collaboration with “30 regular online gamblers.”

All seven new taglines will need to be rotated during a 12-month period, with Hall and Partners saying, “rotating different messages in market reduces the likelihood of [consumers] ‘tuning out’ to the message in a short space of time, as was an often-reported response to the ‘gamble responsibly’ tagline.”

Tim Costello, chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, isn’t totally sold on the idea, but admits it is a “step forward.”

“It’s a good step forward. It’s not enough when we have 943 sports betting ads on free-to-air TV a day,” he said.

“A responsible step from the government would be to actually limit or ban – as Italy and Spain have done – all sports betting ads.”

Chances are, he won’t get his way.

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