Lottoland ad banned for celebrating gambling addiction

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 17 February 2017

An ad for Lottoland has been banned by the watchdog for portraying an excessive participation in wagering activities.

The ad is one of three that received complaints to the Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB).

The spot depicts a man hiding under the table using Lottoland on his mobile phone, unwilling to give up his device.

One complainant said the ad encouraged gamblers to hide their addiction from their family.

“I understand it's a bit of "tongue and 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 person 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 said it upheld complaints against the ad due to the suggestion that wagering is something secretive that needs to be hidden from family and friends, which they perceive to be a depiction of “excessive participation” in wagering activities.

“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 that were cleared by the ASB featured a similar concept the ad banned, however instead of featuring a young male they centred on a grandma.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) and the ASB have been increasingly cracking down on betting ads, with new laws introduced last year to prevent companies targeting minors.

This year the debate has been kicking off once again with Labor attempting to ban sports betting advertising during live sports broadcasts due to their impact on kids. 

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