Vic gambling ad spend three times alcohol

·2-min read

Young men under 24 make up almost one third of Victorian sports betters, with responsible gambling advocates blaming an advertising deluge as betting agencies out-spend the alcohol industry.

Neilsen advertising data released on Sunday showed a daily average of 948 gambling ads aired on Victorian free-to-air stations last year, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said.

That's up from an average of 374 ads per day five years ago.

"That is a very significant increase and demonstrates just how pervasive these ads have become," Mr Lucas said.

The ads came at a cost of about $287 million, an increase of almost $16 million over 2020 which does not include in-stadium advertising or sponsorships.

The foundation said more than three times the amount is being spent advertising gambling compared to alcohol.

The data comes as the foundation launches its month long Love The Game initiative.

More than 650 sporting clubs are taking part to disrupt gambling promotion in sport, with a focus this year on encouraging coaches to talk to players and supporters about the risks of sports betting.

"You don't need to be an expert on gambling to start a conversation about it," Love The Game ambassador Brodie Grundy said.

"Coaches are role models who can talk to players and supporters about the risks of sports betting and shift the conversation away from 'the odds,'" the Collingwood ruck said.

Victoria removed bans on gambling advertising following a 2008 High Court decision that allowed bookmakers to offer bets nationwide, but reinstated some restrictions in 2017.

As the first generation to grow up with gambling advertising, men aged 18-24 make up almost a third of Victorian betters, Mr Lucas said.

Women are also increasingly betting.

"Young people are being exposed to these ads and absorbing the content," Mr Lucas said.

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