New Responsible Gambling Taglines to be Introduced in Australia

Big changes are on the way for how the Australian gambling industry advertises their services. By March 2023, they can no longer use the term ‘gamble responsibly.’ Instead there’s a new selection of taglines they’ll have to use, such as ‘Chances are you’re about to lose.’

Others include: ‘Set a deposit limit,’ ‘What’s gambling really costing you?’ ‘Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?’ and ‘What are you prepared to lose today?’

The taglines were chosen after research by the Federal Department of Social Services. They contacted 30 gamblers who regularly place bets online. 10 taglines were initially chosen and then that number was reduced to a final seven. Then the taglines had to be approved by the Commonwealth, states and territory governments under the National Consumer Protection Framework.

Gambling companies that will be using the new taglines include Pointsbet, Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Bet365. There will also be a requirement to take reasonable steps to equally rotate each of the taglines in the year after they are first introduced. This will have the aim of preventing any “message failure.”

A research report by consultants Hall and Partners found that rotating the messages “reduces the likelihood of (consumers) ‘tuning out’ to the message in a short space of time.” They believe that this is what has happened with the ‘gamble responsibly’’ tagline.

The research found that its ‘Chances are you’re about to lose’ has the broadest promise of the seven taglines chosen for use.

Australian government statistics show a worrying gambling problem in the country. They show a higher gambling losses figure of $1276 a year. That’s an amount higher than any other country in the world on a per capita basis. The problem gambling rate for online gamblers is 3.9%, three times the figure for those who gamble on pokies.

Tim Costello is the chief advocate of the Alliance for Gambling Reform. He believes that the announcement is a “step forward.” In his view the ‘gambling responsibly’ tagline was a stigmatising one. It acted to “silence people, shame them and blame them.”

Mr Costello feels there is a lot more to be done to deal with the gambling problem in Australia. He said that there are 943 sports betting advertisements on free-to-air television every day. A “responsible step” by the Australian government would be to follow in the steps of Italy and Spain and “limit or ban” sports betting advertising.

The chief executive of Responsible Wagering Australia is Justin Madden. He says that their group members “remain fully supportive of the change in relation to consistent gambling messaging, as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework”. Mr Madden added that the group will “continue to work through the details as to how this initiative is best implemented with the Commonwealth and state and territory governments.”