Gambling Ads in Australia

Article by Simon Young
Opportunity Ban Gambling Ads
Last Updated: Apr 2nd, 2024 Share On Your Network:

As gambling continues to grow in popularity in Australia, you may have noticed an increase in the number of gambling ads you see and hear – on the telly, on the radio, in the breaks when you are watching your favourite footy team play. 

But have you ever wondered what the rules are when it comes to promoting gambling? Or wondered why you only ever see and hear this advertising during certain times of the day? 

Promoting gambling can be a tricky business in Australia due to the nature of the industry, in the same way that it can be complicated to promote alcohol. Advertisers do not have free reign to promote what they want when they want; there are rules in place that place restrictions on what can be said, where, and when. 

This is because minors are prohibited from gambling, and so there are restrictions imposed to ensure gambling is not promoted to the wrong audience.

In this article, we’re exploring the fascinating world of advertising regulations and taking a look at the gambling ads rules that are in place in Australia to protect consumers, minors, and the public at large. 

What Is Gambling Advertising?

Gambling advertising is the promotion of gambling services provided by casino operators, lotteries, sportsbooks, and any other organisations that provide gambling activities to the Australian public. Advertisers use various methods to encourage consumers to select their products and services over those of their competitors. 

As with any advertising, the purpose behind gambling ads is for operators to promote the services they offer in a bid to win a share of the market. Gambling is a huge industry in Australia and incredibly competitive, with many service providers competing for your attention, trying to entice players over to their platform with welcome bonuses, promotions, and special offers. 

To ensure their messaging is effective, marketers spend their advertising dollars securing advertising space in places most likely to be seen by their target audience. For example, if you’re a fan of watching sports, you’ll notice more sportsbook advertising as the provider knows it has a captive audience. 

To promote gambling in Australia, it’s important for advertisers to adhere to the strict rules and regulations that are in place regarding the placement of a gambling ad. This is to ensure inappropriate messaging does not get directed to the wrong audience, and contravening this can have serious consequences for suppliers. 

Gambling is a strictly adult-only activity, and children should not be subjected to casino ads or any media encouraging participation in gambling. Children should be protected from potentially harmful or addictive activities as they may not fully comprehend the consequences in the way that adults do.

This is why these regulations are in place and closely monitored by nationwide agencies as well as individual state and territory authorities that regulate gambling services in their jurisdictions.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for regulating gambling advertising on broadcast TV, radio, and online platforms.

The Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) oversees the self-regulatory system for advertising, including gambling and casino ads, and reviews complaints from the public.

The Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) sets codes of practice for advertising, which includes the Code for Gambling Advertising & Marketing Communication. Their aim with the latter is to ensure that gambling ads are socially responsible and do not target minors.

Gambling Ads in Australia

Gambling advertising in Australia is subject to various rules and regulations that are enforced by the agencies introduced above, depending on the type of service, the platform being used, and the time of the day. 

To give you an idea of the type of restrictions in place, we have listed below some of the main gambling advertising rules that are currently in force regarding gambling ads at the time of writing.

Remember that these are subject to change with further legislation as the industry continues to develop and evolve: 

  • To protect children, gambling ads are not allowed during certain programs or times of day, such as programs on commercial television with a rating of G or lower. 
  • Gambling ads are not allowed during live sports on broadcast TV and radio from 5 minutes before an event starts, during the event, and for 5 minutes after between the hours of 5.00 am and 8.30 pm. 
  • Additionally, no promotion of odds is permitted during play or during breaks and cannot be promoted by commentators. 
  • Gambling ads are also not allowed during live sporting events live streamed online between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm. 
  • Gambling ads must not display misleading or socially irresponsible messaging, such as suggesting that gambling is a way to solve financial problems.
  • Gambling ads cannot promote referral programs. 

If you come across any advertisements that you believe are contravening any of the gambling ads rules that we have listed above, you can make a complaint to various agencies, depending on the type of ad and platform:

  • If the ad is on TV, radio, or online, and it is misleading or socially irresponsible, you can complain to the Advertising Standards Bureau.
  • If the ad is on TV or radio during a live sports broadcast, you can complain to the broadcaster. 
  • For ads during a live sporting event streamed online, you can complain to the ACMA.
  • If the ad is for a prohibited gambling service like an online casino or promotes in-play betting, you can complain to the ACMA.

You can find out more on the ACMA website.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it, a dive into the tricky world of gambling advertising in Australia. The next time you’re watching the cricket or tuning into the footy on the radio, no doubt you’ll think about the type of advertising you encounter and the people who are around you. 

Remember that these important gambling ad rules that we have discussed are in place to protect the consumers and the children of Australia, just like they are with other restricted products like alcohol. 

The fact that gambling ads are restricted does not mean that casino ads are negative or that gambling should be considered an antisocial activity. Gambling ads promote a legitimate and lawful service for adults and provide an important revenue source. 

Rather, gambling ad restrictions are designed to protect consumers and the industry itself and ensure you can continue to enjoy your preferred casino games and have a flutter on your favourite team safely. 

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