Gambling ads to be banned during Live sport

Gambling advertisements will be banned during the broadcast of Live sports between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm on commercial free-to-air TV, radio and pay TV from March 30.

“The new restrictions on gambling advertising supplement existing rules about gambling advertising during live sport and significantly enhance community safeguards during times when children are part of the audience,” said Australian Communications and Media Authority Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin.

“The new rules will also ensure that broadcasters make clear to audiences, including parents, when gambling advertising is prohibited in live sport programming.”

The ban had attracted some opposition from networks and sporting groups, but the government has also given networks a license reduction or money for sporting broadcasts.

Similar gambling advertising rules are currently proposed for online content service providers.

Free TV Australia:

ACMA will closely monitor their operation and after 12 months will consider whether to conduct a formal review of their effectiveness.

Free TV CEO Bridget Fair said, “Free TV is focussed on ensuring that our Code of Practice meets community expectations, including in relation to gambling advertising.”

Free TV has amended the Commercial Television Code of Practice to ban gambling ads in live sport broadcasts between 5am-8.30pm, and during a five-minute buffer before and after the event.

“These new restrictions will prevent gambling advertising being broadcast during live sports at times that children are likely to be watching,” Ms Fair said.

“The community expects that these restrictions will apply across all forms of media, including online. It’s very important that the legislation to apply similar restrictions to online players is put in place as quickly as possible,” Ms Fair said.


ASTRA’s new rules were developed in conjunction with the industry and approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and have been updated in the subscription television Codes of Practice.

The move addresses public concerns regarding gambling advertising during live sports to ensure safeguards are in place during times that children are likely viewing.

The ASTRA Codes include a conditional exemption from the new rules for sports channels with a very low audience share (0.5% of the viewing audience). The ACMA has placed strict limits around this exemption, which will ensure it is only available to the very small sports channels on the platform, and will not apply to any Fox Sports channel or to any nationally significant events. Existing gambling advertising limits will continue to apply to these small channels.


  1. Besides all the ethical issues, I am so glad gambling ads are going because they are just all so completely and utterly annoying, especially those ones with the loud gravelly “blue-collar” male voice.

    As per jmanwf, all signage should go as well – as happened with tobacco advertising.

    I have nothing per se against gambling, but it should not be rammed down our throats.

    I suppose TV stations will replace gambling ads with funeral insurance ads – just to make us feel all that much better and optimistic about our lives.

  2. The amount of gambling ads on Prime, across all programs not just sport, is unacceptable. Every break and so many that they have to play two conflicting ads in the same break.

  3. Sports that start before 8.30pm, the ban should continue throughout the sport. Eg Big Bash. Lots of kids are staying up to watch because it is school holidays. Or footy games that run to 9pm or so.

    Also, compare and contrast that this ban ends at 8.30pm, whereas M ratings have recently (and inexplicably) been brought down to 7.30pm. Illogical.

  4. I wonder if this will impact WA who are 2 or 3 hours behind. Presumably, if a live sporting event is airing on a national channel at 10pm in Sydney, it will be 7/8pm in WA, so would ads still have to be banned?

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