CRA, the industry body representing Australian commercial radio, has issued a statement expressing deep concern on what it sees as unfair treatment in recommendations outlined in the final report of the House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs into gambling. The parliamentary inquiry into online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm has recommended introducing a phased blanket ban on online sports betting advertising in Australia.
CRA, which represents 260 radio broadcasters across Australia, said broadcasters supported action to reduce the harms from gambling, but measures need to be applied consistently and fairly.
“We question why radio has been singled out for a ban on gambling ads during our peak listening times of 8.30 – 9.00 a.m. and 3.30 – 4 p.m. in the first phase when we are not a primary player in gambling advertising, and radio has never been held up as one of the main problem areas,” CRA CEO Ford Ennals said.
“The important breakfast and drive time sessions are critical to radio stations’ revenue. Children do not drive, and when they are in the car, they have parental or adult supervision. Measures that are introduced must be balanced against the impact of the loss of revenue on the sustainability of local radio services and the quality of news and local content services stations are able to provide. Radio revenues are being hit by the economic downturn, and if alternative revenue sources existed, we would already be tapping into those.
“We are committed to working constructively with the Government to support the objectives of reducing harms from gambling ads while ensuring commercial radio can continue to provide the live news, information and entertainment services that Australians depend on.”