By Bethany Louise SmithPerth academics have welcomed changes by the Australian government to laws surrounding gambling advertisements. Gambling ads will not be shown 5 minutes prior to or after a live sports broadcast, and no ads will be shown during the ad breaks or within the duration of the game. As well, between 5am and 8.30pm gambling advertisements are banned. The changes apply to commercial television, commercial radio, all internet platform, SBS and subscription television. The restrictions come at a critical time for Australia with gambling addictions now more frequent than methamphetamine users. Jill Darby is a Health Sciences lecturer at Edith Cowan University. “I think it can only be a good thing for [people with a gambling addiction]. “Our minds are severely complex, and one of the key ways we hook someone onto a product is by advertising it at them,” Darby said. Over 36% of all Australians have some degree of a gambling problem. “Sport is a major part of Australia’s culture. We sit around for hours watching, listening and commenting on the footy, it is in our everyday lives. “I would argue that this has been a cause in our great countries gambling problem,” Darby explained. Doctor Lorraine Hammond a lecturer in parenting and a specialist in children with ADHD. She said children are some of the most prone to developing a gambling addiction and continuing it throughout their adult lives. “Kids sit around and watch television all day, every day, whenever they can. They are being advertised at constantly. “In all aspects of life, they are told how to think, what they should look like and what habits they should have based on things like their gender, age etc,” Hammond said. She suggested parents should be monitoring what their children are absorbing by looking at where and when they are looking at advertising.