Gambling Ad Airs During SimpsonsPublished December 22, 2007 by OCR Editor
An advert for a poker website is seen by a 9-year-old girl during the middle of The Simpsons. It just so happens that the girl's father is Problem Gambling Foundation chief executive John Stansfield.
The New Zealand Government is looking into allegations that the advert breaches their online gambling ban. The Gambling Act bans online or remote interactive gambling unless conducted by someone outside New Zealand or is a sales promotion scheme in the form of a lottery.
It also bans advertising for overseas gambling.
The particular advert in question promoted a company called PokerStars.net. This poker website allows you to play online against other players for play money. It is however a mirror website for PokerStars.com which accepts real money.
The TV company, TV3, responsible for showing the advert will continue screening it as they say it was vetted by the Television Commercials Approval Bureau which pre-screens all TV ads before they go to air, in line with the Advertising Standards Authority guidelines.
Problem Gambling Foundation health promotion adviser Melissa Gregan said she saw the advert at 5.09pm and 7.40pm, both during The Simpsons.
An Internal Affairs Department spokesman said they department were looking into complaints from several sources about the commercial and would decide by the end of January what action to take.
Gambling codes are very strict in New Zealand, they allow only four types of gambling; Scratch cards, the Lottery, horse-racing and in casinos.