Inquiry recommends gambling advertising be banned within 3 years

Gambling ads would be phased out over three years under new recommendations, but broadcasters fear a major revenue loss.

Gambling advertising during sporting events would be phased out within three years if the recommendations of a parliamentary committee are accepted, with the exception of racing channels.

House Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has made 31 recommendations on how the industry should be regulated and how Australians struggling with addiction should be supported.

The report “You win some, you lose more” includes the recommendations:

The Committee recommends the Australian Government, with the cooperation of the states and territories, implement a comprehensive ban on all forms of advertising for online gambling, to be introduced in four phases, over three years, commencing immediately:

• Phase One: prohibition of all online gambling inducements and inducement advertising, and all advertising of online gambling on social media and online platforms. Removal of the exemption for advertising online gambling during news and current affairs broadcasts. Prohibition of advertising online gambling on commercial radio between 8.30-9.00 am and 3.30-4.00 pm (school drop off and pick up).

• Phase Two: prohibition of all online gambling advertising and commentary on odds, during and an hour either side of a sports broadcast. Prohibition on all in-stadia advertising, including logos on players’ uniforms.

• Phase Three: prohibition of all broadcast online gambling advertising between the hours of 6.00 am and 10.00 pm.

• Phase Four: by the end of year three, prohibition on all online gambling advertising and sponsorship.
5.149 Gambling advertising on dedicated racing channels and programming should be exempt from the ban.

 ABC reports the gambling industry spent $310 million on advertising in 2022, according to Nielsen Research.

Currently, gambling advertisements cannot be aired within 5 minutes of a sporting event starting or finishing.

Some exceptions apply, including during breaks in long-form events such as cricket and tennis matches — but only after 8:30pm.

Committee chair and Labor MP Peta Murphy they heard evidence from the AFL and the NRL in particular about their reliance on sponsorship deals with betting companies but the committee accepted this is a public health issue, that needed to be acted on.

She said a gradual approach to ending gambling advertising would help broadcasters and sporting codes to find replacement revenue streams, and allow betting companies time to adjust to new restrictions.

Last week Network 10 indicated it would not proceed with a Melbourne Cup bid over concerns over an increasing focus on gambling by Tabcorp and the Victoria Racing Club.

The inquiry’s recommendations have already drawn a sharp response from Free TV Australia, which represents Free to Air commercial broadcasters concerned over a “kneejerk moves” for an outright ban.

The government is yet to accept the recommendations.

Free TV:

Bridget Fair, Free TV CEO, said “The Committee’s proposed ban is based on a fundamentally flawed premise that the advertising market is some kind of magic pudding. But reductions in advertising revenue in the current economic and competitive environment can only result in less funding for Australian content.

“While we appreciate that there are concerns in the community regarding the volume of gambling ads, kneejerk moves to implement outright bans will ultimately hurt viewers and the television services they love.

“These services are available to every Australian no matter where they live or how much they earn and they are only possible because of advertising revenue.

“Commercial television spends more than $1.5 billion on Australian content every year, providing Australian audiences with more than 25,000 hours of free local trusted news, Australian drama and entertainment, vital coverage of national emergencies and live and free sport year in, year out.

“Many of the sports broadcasting deals have been agreed to beyond the three year phase out period for advertising.

“The Government has quite rightly said that it will take its time to consider the committee’s report before responding. Now is the time for a considered response to this important issue.

“Our industry is ready to work constructively with the Government on measures that would reduce the amount of gambling advertising on television and other platforms, while ensuring that the industry can continue to deliver high quality content to all Australians.

“Measures like frequency caps would be a better and more targeted approach to respond to any community concern around the volume of advertising.

“This would build on the current restrictions on gambling advertising, including the existing ban on gambling advertising in live sport before 8.30pm and strict limits in sport after that time.

“Any further restrictions on gambling advertising must be offset by reductions in the regulatory burdens on commercial broadcasters. In particular, removing spectrum fees which are completely out-of-step with other countries that have already abolished such fees decades ago,” Ms Fair said.

gamblinghelponline.org.au: 1800 858 858

12 Responses

  1. I don’t see how not advertising gambling apps and products will make much difference, especially seeing how easy it is to search and find whatever you want at any time. Surely the better path to go down would be more awareness or education?

    That said though, I don’t see how a 15 second ad for a gambling app showing some footy odds and a QR code to get to the app and take you straight to betting should be allowed. Saw this a few times while watching back a show on 10play.

  2. Funny thing about this is that most tennis tournaments are named after their title sponsors and a few of the title sponsors are betting companies so I guess those tournaments will never be allowed to air on free to air here.

  3. As much as I disliked Kerry Packer, he made a lot of sense at the 1991 Senates Hearing regarding Australia being a nanny-like state. This is another example of it and quite frankly one that is nonsensical. What next? The Government banning advertisements for fast food and other evils? This Government has bigger fish to fry.

    1. Probably a bad idea to mention fast food and fried fish in the same sentence=I assume you’re no fan of seatbelts or speed limits on public roads as well…

      1. @Chuck128, incorrect. I am all about safety, especially after the mass carnage of lives across Australia. I don’t want to get political but the current Federal Government isn’t in touch with current realities.

  4. So rather than regulate gambling properly you allow it to harness social media and peer pressure to create more bad gambling addicts. Then hope they won’t be able to search for gambling sites online if there aren’t ads on TV, which less and less people are watching. This is almost as crazy a Minns plan not to make pokies card based so gambling can be monitored and regulated but to just ban advertising signs. Signs that achieve nothing because pokies have been legal for over 60s years and everyone associates casinos, clubs and hotels with rows of pokies. It wasn’t banning advertising that reduced smoking it was proving and publishing the links to disease and death, banning smoking in publish spaces, and raising the price to $57.50 a packet. Though this has created a $6b illegal tobacco market and a teenage vaping epidemic because governments were too scare to spend money doing it properly.

  5. Must be interesting conversations at the Costello family gatherings. Tim, a ferocious anti-gambling-advertising promoter, and brother Peter Chairman of Nine.

  6. Oh Bridget, your predecessors said that when cigarette advertising was banned (1973-76), and yet…..
    Gambling, like smoking, is an addiction. But before the addicts start screaming, it’s a ban on advertising, not on gambling itself.

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