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Lottoland ad banned by ASB for promoting excessive gambling

Sat, Feb 18, 8:29am by Staff Writer

Lottoland’s expansion plans in Australia have hit a snag after an ad for the betting service was banned by the Advertising Standards Bureau for promoting excessive gambling.

Three of Lottoland’s ads were the centre of complaints by viewers to the ASB late last year and the Board has found that one of them breached its standards and should be taken down immediately.

The particular ad portrayed a man hiding under a table playing Lottoland on his mobile phone, with a complainant saying it promoted irresponsible betting behaviour as the man was hiding his betting from his family.

“I understand it’s a bit of tongue in cheek but a young child doesn’t necessarily know that and it promotes the normalisation of gambling in the family home and the fact that it is so easy to do,” the complainant said.

“The ads that I have the most issue with are encouraging hiding the fact that the person has a gambling addiction. Hiding the gambling from family and blatantly lying about it.”

The Board agreed saying the depiction of wagering as something to be hidden from family friends was not appropriate

“The board noted that unlike in the first two versions of the advertisement where the grandmother is still shown to interact and engage with her family, in this version of the advertisement the person using the product has isolated himself from the family and considered that this is a depiction of a person who allows wagering to become a priority in their life,” the ASB said.

The other two ads were cleared after the complaints, but the banning of one ad is an example of the ASB’s determination to crackdown on messaging in gambling ads.

Tabcorp was found to have breached ASB standards with an ad it ran last year in the lead-up to the Spring Carnival.

Gambling advertising is firmly under scrutiny, with several high profile footballers recently voicing their concern over sports betting advertising running during games.

Labor proposed an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill, which is currently before parliament, to phase in a ban of all gambling promotion during sports broadcasts.

But that move failed and the practice of advertising during sports broadcasts is set to continue, under the watchful eye of the ASB.

Lottoland was granted a wagering license in the Northern Territory last year. It operates betting on overseas lottery results, where it pays out on those results based on its own insurance policies rather than being a part of the actual lotteries.

It recently signed a naming rights deal to rename the Manly Sea Eagles NRL team’s home ground of Brookvale to become Lottoland.

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