Research into online gambling on the map

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Online betting will come under scrutiny as a parliamentary inquiry focuses on its impact on people with gambling problems.

The Social Policy and Legal Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives asks for input from stakeholders, in particular recommendations for improving consumer protection aimed at reducing gambling problems.

It also looks at how effective advertising restrictions are in preventing children from being exposed to gambling products.

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The investigation comes as calls grow louder to do something about the mass betting ads shown during live sports broadcasts, often in prime-time television slots.

Advertising via social media, sponsoring and branding are also discussed.

Labor MP Peta Murphy said the committee was particularly concerned about the effects of the ads on young people.

“The study will provide a fresh look at online gambling and whether current laws, regulations, consumer protections and education and support programs are sufficient to reduce the harm to gamblers,” said the committee chair.

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“The committee is concerned about the increasing reach of online gambling platforms in Australians’ lives, the exposure of children and young people to gambling advertisements and how this could contribute to an increase in problem gambling in the future.”

Other issues to consider include how current laws hold up in the face of new technologies, payment options and gambling products.

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The effectiveness of counseling and the quality of online gambling education programs are included in the job description.

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