Identified as a serious public health issue, gambling is widely spread across Australia. With hundreds of millions of dollars lost every month, losses to gambling surpass billions every year and Australians are infamous as the world’s biggest losers when it comes to the activity. Yet, lawmakers in different states are pushing for effective changes to the gambling regulations that seek to reduce gambling harm and problem gambling, ultimately decreasing the money lost by punters.
Back in 2021, News Corp announced the launch of CODE Sports, a digital hub that offers insights related to sports betting. It included the popular CODE Bet hub, a unique platform that offers exclusive previews, analysis, reports and podcasts. The specialized sports wagering website also delivers best offers from prominent bookmakers, including Betr, bet365 and Ladbrokes, among others.
Now, a new report reveals that anti-gambling advocates criticize CODE Bet hub, claiming it preys on vulnerable people. As reported by The Guardian, Carol Bennett, the chief executive of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, an organization that proposes robust changes to the gambling sector in the country that seeks to protect customers from harm, claimed that the specialized betting website promotes high-risk gambling activities.
Moreover, she criticized News Corp for hitting “a new low,” with its specialized wagering website. Finally, Bennett pointed out: “It beggars belief. Australia has the dubious honor of being the world’s biggest gambling losers and we have a national inquiry report highlighting the extensive harm this is causing in our most vulnerable populations.”
“News Corp seems to have hit a new low in preying on those vulnerable to gambling harm in its latest venture, the CodeSports website supported by its information hub, CODE Bet.“
Carol Bennett, chief executive at the Alliance for Gambling Reform
Government Plans Changes to the Gambling Sector
The recent report comes at a time when Australia is planning major changes to the gambling sector. Last week, the government revealed its plans to implement a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling in an effort to reduce excessive gambling and gambling harm. The proposal, known as the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023, also seeks to prohibit the use of digital currencies for online gambling.
At the same time, the results of a study revealed a worrying link between gambling addiction and suicides in Victoria. The study, led by Dr. Angela Rintoul from Federation University and published in the Lancet Regional Health Journal, uncovered that gambling addiction contributed to a total of 184 suicides over a period of eight years.