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Gambling industry advertising on TV should be more tightly controlled and sponsorship of sporting clubs banned, independent candidate Nick Xenophon says.
The former South Australian senator who is contesting the federal election said sports betting ads should be restricted on TV to the same times as alcohol ads: between noon and 3pm on school days and 8.30pm to 5am on any day.
Currently, sports betting ads can be played at all times except during children's programming, however news, current affairs and sports programs are exceptions.
"Given that Australians lose more than $1.2 billion on sports betting (excluding horse racing) each year, and the increasing levels of harm, particularly amongst young people, these restrictions are long overdue," Mr Xenophon said.
"It makes no sense that tobacco advertising is completely banned on all platforms, alcohol advertising is significantly restricted on television, yet gambling remains a free-for-all."
He is proposing sports betting companies provide 20 per cent of the amount spent on advertising to a gambling harm reduction fund.
Mr Xenophon also believes Australia should follow the lead of Italy and Spain, which have banned gambling industry sponsorship of sporting clubs.
A major study published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare in 2021 showed 1.33 million people were at risk of gambling-related problems.
At-risk gambling for people aged 18 to 34 increased slightly between 2015 and 2018, while falling in older age groups.