Helping our kids think critically about gambling ads

Gambling has never been more widely promoted.

Consider how many gambling ads you’ve seen in the last week. During the first round of the AFL in 2016, it was reported by The Age that one in six ads on free-to-air television were spruiking betting brands, second only to ads selling cars.

Look closely at most of these gambling ads and you’ll see a betting agency trying to make a profit by using special offers - like 'bonus bets' and other incentives - to encourage players to use their products.

How is this continual exposure to positive gambling messages shaping our teens’ attitudes and future gambling behaviour?

Free bets and 'money back' offers can give teens the impression that it’s all a bit of harmless fun, and a quick way to make money. But we know that gambling is risky and can be harmful.

We can’t stop our teens from seeing gambling advertising, but we can help them develop the knowledge and skills to think critically about what they see.

Next time you’re watching television together and you see a betting ad, ask your child questions like:

  • Have you noticed all these betting ads?
  • Does it make it seem easy to win?
  • Why do you think a betting company is offering to give money back?
  • Do betting companies use special offers to encourage you to keep betting?

For more information about helping your son or daughter think critically about the gambling advertising they see, go to  


Dianne Martin, Deputy Head of Senior School 



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