On Thursday, June 18, we had supporters tune in from all across the country for our webinar “How do we #EndGamblingAds on SBS”? We heard from lived experience advocates, campaigners and community leaders about the fight to get gambling off SBS and why it remains as urgent as ever.
Rev. Tim Costello, Chief Advocate at the Alliance, kicked off the night with a heartfelt reminder of why this campaign is so important;
“Public broadcasters are so fundamentally critical for democracy, for our wellbeing, for a non-conflicted, much more independent weighing of the issues that affect our society, affect our families, affect our communities… that’s why I’m so passionate about not seeing the SBS falling to interests [like gambling]. It is profoundly against the SBS charter, what they’re doing with their sponsorship deals from the gambling industry.”
We then heard from Steve Aujard, President of Save our SBS, about the history of gambling ads on SBS and how they tie in with the commercialisation of the public broadcaster. Steve also talked about how SBS viewers feel about gambling ads, and it came to no surprise to the supporters who joined that 91% of viewers nationwide want an end to them.
In the Q & A panel, lived experience advocate Paul Fung and Jasmine Nguyen, Brimbank City Councillor, both spoke about the impact gambling ads have on their communities. Jasmine, a daughter of two Vietnamese refugees, spoke passionately about the responsibility SBS has to migrant communities:
“When migrants come to Australia, they just want to fit in with cultural norms… having a public broadcaster like SBS showing gambling ads makes it seem like [sports gambling is] a cultural norm. It’s immoral, especially for SBS; I think SBS has a responsibility as a broadcaster for multicultural communities to ensure there’s less harm in our communities.”
We couldn’t agree more, and with so many passionate supporters and vocal community leaders on our side, we’re sure SBS is already feeling the pressure to #EndGamblingAds.