The Australian Christian Lobby has welcomed the announced gambling ads ban as a first step in protecting families from the legitimisation of sports betting.

The Federal Government announced a plan to prohibit gambling adverts on commercial media from five minutes before the commencement of play until five minutes after the conclusion of play or 8.30pm, whichever comes sooner.

ACL managing director, Lyle Shelton, said the ban could be correctly viewed as an acknowledgment by the Government that gambling ads were harmful to the community and were contributing to tearing families apart.

“Sports betting is only allowed to be conducted by adults so it is unacceptable for gambling advertisements to be promoted to children watching their sports stars on television,” Mr Shelton said.

“There is a growing mood in the community that gambling should not be normalised and be considered an acceptable part of sport.

“Now that the Government has clearly expressed that gambling ads are harmful; the next logical step is for it to ban all gambling advertising.

“Following this reform, it will be difficult for the government to maintain support for gambling advertising in other G-rated time slots.

“The ACL believes banning gambling advertising completely would be a winning strategy in tackling the cost borne by the community by problem gambling.”

The ACL is grateful for the great work done by Andrew Wilkie MP, Senator Nick Xenophon, The Greens and the Alliance for Gambling Reform in agitating for gambling reform.