|The online casino industry, problem gambling help groups and Internet security firms were united today in condemnation of an insidious ad campaign which targets the Australian Gamblers Anonymous website with pop-ups for online casinos. It is not known who is behind the campaign, which tempts visitors to the website’s message board and is a brazen attempt to target people at their most vulnerable.|
Gamblers Anonymous is currently attempting to update the site so they can block the pop-ups, but in the meantime has posted the following warning: 'Please be aware that there are pop-up advertisements in the top panel of the message board. Some of them are for online gambling, and it is recommended that you do not click any of the links.'
The Industry has been quick to attack the ads as immoral. As University of Sydney gambling research unit director Louise Sharpe said. 'This is when (addicts) least need that temptation. They are reaching out for support. Suddenly cues that allow them to gamble are there.'
'It's one thing to target a competitor's website but they are targeting people who are seeking help,' Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Coroneos said. 'Any reasonable person would have severe doubts about the legitimacy of their actions.'