Responding to community concern over gambling advertising

The ASB has been asked to take part in a panel on gambling advertising as part of the eGaming Review (EGR) Australia Power Summit 2014. The ASB appreciates the opportunity to speak to Australian online betting executives about responsible advertising, and the Codes and regulations around advertising in Australia.

Gambling operators, like any other industry, have the right to advertise their products. However just like every other industry their advertisements cannot breach the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics. In particular they cannot advertise in a way that breaches section 2.6 of the Code which states that Advertising and marketing communications shall not depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.

This is the part of the code that the Advertising Standards Board will look at when the ASB receives complaints about gambling advertisements. While the Board cannot look at the placement or frequency of advertisements, they can look at the messages shown in the advertisement. The Board has found that any advertisement that encourages excessive gambling, or that may make gambling attractive to children, will be found to breach the Code on the grounds that it goes against the prevailing community standards around what constitutes safe gambling.

The ASB will look at any gambling advertisement that receives a complaint, including online, in an app or on social media. So it is important for advertisers to consider whether their advertisement breaches the Code in all forms of advertising. In addition to the Code, additional restrictions on gambling advertising exist for television and radio broadcast.

In recent years there has been growing community concern over gambling advertising, particularly during sporting events. In response to this concern, and to deflect calls for direct Government regulation, the broadcasting industry reacted with the FreeTVThe Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association and Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice have imposed limitations on discussing gambling odds during commentary. Under these codes gambling advertisements must also be clearly identified as such.

 

50 comment

  • BradB - 21 May 2021 - 9:23pm

    Appalling, it really is. Others have commented on all the main reasons that I’m disgusted with these unscrupulous greedy corporations feeding off weaker minded people, but what infuriates me is that I’ve had to train my children to race for the remote to turn the TV off when these “humorous” add abominations ruin our football experience. On TV we are PAYING TO WATCH NO LESS!!! It’s beyond me, it really is.
    Then again, I guess the government (criminals) have got their hands held out making money hand over fist from it too haven’t they, just like they did with cigarettes. But they only banned that advertising after they were left with no choice due to massive public pressure.
    I’m really disappointed with many of the former sports identities whom choose to accept contracts with these despicable companies. Many of them have been very well respected for many years. I get that everyone needs employment.... but betting agency’s??? Really?
    I feel as though many of them may have sold their souls.

  • Paul McLelland - 7 May 2021 - 9:17pm

    I am totally sickened by the amount of gambling ads on all media, it needs to be curtailed, just as cigarette ads were. Whoever is responsible for allowing the amount of these ads to air needs to reign it in. Gambling is an addiction just as drug taking and alcoholism is and it continues to ruin families. It is not a normal part of life, it is not cool and it will not make you rich. It should not be made easily accessible to gamble, and it should be moderated, a means test would not be out of the question.

  • Tom Franciskovic - 28 April 2021 - 8:09pm

    I find it extremely unfortunate that children viewing prime time tv will be left with the perception that gambling is a normal everyday activity. It is they who will pay the price for our inability to say no the advertising of this nature. The answer is to vote with your remote and just turn off rather than expose children to such parasitic parts of out society. Just say NO.

  • Karl - 15 April 2021 - 7:19pm

    Waste of time complaining about the gambling adds, no one listens, one cares, it's all about money. These gambling adds turn addicts into lying, stealing cheats, who care about nothing more than gambling, these adds only encourage these types of people. This country is ruined already, we don't need gambling addicts making it worse. I was assaulted by my neighbour, because he had a bad night gambling on horses. I hate gambling addicted people.

  • Anonymous - 15 April 2021 - 7:12pm

    Ban these stupid gambling adds

  • Thomas - 11 April 2021 - 7:59pm

    "Gambling operators, like any other industry, have the right to advertise their products."

    So, if you DO wish to continue using this as a reason why they're allowed to advertise then cigarette companies should be allowed to advertise on television, radio and on static advertising medium. I don't understand why a life destroying addiction (not only for the gambler but for their families too) is allowed to be forced down our throats through advertising. It's always there. Ladbrokes, sports bet, TAB, plus several new ones that have come out. Get rid of them now.

  • Lisa Walker - 10 April 2021 - 10:09pm

    I am so sick of seeing these advertisements. As the mother of a son who has a gambling addiction it just makes me so angry. The effect it has on the individual and also their family is devastating. And when I see the caption "gamble responsibly", seriously ....a gambling addict cannot gamble responsibly. I wish these ads weren't on our tv screens, no beer advertisements any more, or smoking so why not gambling. I also think there should be some sort of register where known gambling addicts are not able to access these sites etc. We do it for renting properties and also credit ratings. It is detrimental and sad for the families of the gambler.

  • Ad Standards - 8 April 2021 - 4:38pm

    In response to Kris Farley and T Hutch:

    Thank you both for your comments, if you believe the content of an advertisement breaches community standards as set out in the AANA Wagering Code or the AANA Code of Ethics, you can lodge a complaint with Ad Standards through this link > https://adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint.

    More info on the Codes is available on our website > https://adstandards.com.au/codes-and-cases/codes-and-initiatives-0

  • Kris Farley - 8 April 2021 - 3:44pm

    It is completely unacceptable that gambling is the main source (or any source) of advertising here in Australia. Cigarette advertisements are banned however another disturbing addiction is permitted to flood our airways, gambling, which is an addiction, a sickness. I guess since since state governments makes millions of dollars our federal and state governments have a vested interest (and don’t care), which should be against community interests, safety and expectations.

  • T hutch - 7 April 2021 - 8:33pm

    What’s with the normalisation of gambling ads? How are they even allowed on tv? Also, so many during prime time slots - paying celebrities to promote these companies targeting young people knowing it destroys lives. it’s a disgrace!

  • Kat Stewart - 3 February 2021 - 1:07pm

    Gambling adds shouldn't be a norm it ruins to many lives and children should not be influenced by such adds.

  • Byron Banzhaf - 29 December 2020 - 6:45pm

    We banned cigarette ads because we deemed them a big enough health and social threat. Why on earth do we not ban gambling ads then, gambling is known to ruin individuals lives and effect the mental health of those involved, its universally accepted that it is addictive and socially destructive, it also often destroys the lives of the families dependant on those that gamble. There is absolutely no reason advertising it should not be banned, the longer we wait the more people gambling will destroy the lives of.

  • Jan Mantell - 2 November 2020 - 11:16pm

    We have restricted advertising on harmful substances like cigarettes and alcohol which effect the health of the community and also produce a huge cost to all of us . Why oh why then are a huge number of on line gambling ads allowed to swamp our free to air television programs. I am particularly concerned about the sponsorship of our news programs by on line gambling ads. This is during time when kids are watching and the number of ads is totally out of hand!

  • Terence bennett - 2 November 2020 - 4:06pm

    Playing littlewoods betting on daytime tv , is a disgrace and should be banned

  • Ad Standards - 2 November 2020 - 11:33am

    A reminder that concerns about the frequency or timing of gambling ads can be directed to the broadcaster. If you are not satisfied with the response, or do not receive a response within 60 days, you can send your complaint to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). More information is on the ACMA website here: www.acma.gov.au/make-complaint-about-gambling-ad

    But if your concern is about the content of the ad and you think it breaches community standards then you can easily lodge a complaint with Ad Standards through this link on our website: www.adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint

  • Elaine Beggs - 30 October 2020 - 8:03pm

    Looking at the comments above I am not alone in my disgust at Sportsbet ads on the Television. Gambling is a destructive activity. People have the freedom to do this but please don't advertise it! How can we stop this type of advertising?

  • Mathew Northey - 30 October 2020 - 4:39pm

    These gambling ads are way out of control. Clearly the governing body makes far to much money from the grief of un informed Australians. They certainly make it very very hard to complain about them. More or less making you use your time to report the time of the ads were broadcast to the channel they were on before you can complain to the governing body. Of course you can only do one channel at a time. Near impossible to formalize any genuine complaint. Time to get some relevant people/news services to make a relevant effort to cut through the red tape and deal with this issue. I'm tired of being made to explain these ads and gambling in general to my 10yr old. Let alone the people with serious gambling problems...

  • Ad Standards - 27 October 2020 - 10:29am

    Hi Steven, thanks for your comment. If you believe the content of an advertisement breaches community standards as set out in the AANA Wagering Code or the AANA Code of Ethics, you can lodge a complaint with Ad Standards through this link > https://adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint.
    More info on the Codes is on our website here > https://adstandards.com.au/codes-and-cases/codes-and-initiatives-0

  • Steven Zarda - 26 October 2020 - 6:22pm

    Gambling ads are harmful to those who consume them, just like cigarettes. My view is that the governments should protect consumers against the harm they cause the same way as cigarette consumers are protected.
    Cigarette supplier are compelled to sell their products in packages that discourage consumption. The same thing should be done to gambling advertisements. That is, all gambling advertisements should be preceded by a forceful explanation of the harms gambling often causes. These advertisements should be composed by a government agency, not by the promoters of gambling.

  • Ad Standards - 26 October 2020 - 9:43am

    Hi J. Green, thanks for your comment. If you have a concern about the content of an ad, you can lodge a complaint via the following link: https://adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint

  • Ad Standards - 26 October 2020 - 9:40am

    Hi Alison, thanks for your comment. Complaints about the timing and frequency of television ads can be made to the broadcaster that aired the advertisement.

  • J green - 25 October 2020 - 7:18pm

    Betting ads disgust me. There are so much lost by betting. It should not be advertised on sporting shows or on buses taxis actually anywhere. It breaks families up and the loss can be life threatening. It needs to be banned.

  • Alison stubbings - 24 October 2020 - 8:05am

    Every night while watching channel 7 news there's Gambling ads for Ladbrokes. Im appalled that these ads are allowed to air in prime time when young people and families are watching. Damage to Australians from Gambling is huge and insidious. This racing ad was even slotted in just before a news article on horse racing. Should b banned.

  • Linda Halkyard - 20 October 2020 - 7:56pm

    I have noticed a lot more gambling adds I think it’s not good for the kids to watch them all the time I have stopped my kids from watching mainstream tv they watch Netflix or YouTube

  • Frank - 18 October 2020 - 10:26am

    Sports broadcasting in particular football and cricket has a target audience that includes children. Our children are being groomed to be tomorrow's addicted gamblers. Our governments are not interested in protecting the vulnerable, they're looking after their political donors.

  • Ad Standards - 15 October 2020 - 9:39am

    Hi Gayle, thanks for your comment. Complaints about the timing and frequency of television ads can be made to the broadcaster that aired the advertisement.

  • Gayle - 14 October 2020 - 10:06pm

    I cannot believe the amount of ads that are on television promoting gamble. Its annoying nearly every second ad is on gambling. I don't see ads to assist gamblers. Very sickening and boring.

  • Ad Standards - 25 September 2020 - 9:42am

    Hi Robert, complaints about the timing and frequency of television advertisements can be made to the broadcaster that aired the advertisement. If you are not satisfied with the response or do not receive a response within 60 days, you can then send your complaint to The ACMA.

  • Robert Darr - 25 September 2020 - 8:00am

    We ban alcohol ads in prime time. We have banned cigarettes altogether. So now we are bombarded with gambling ads. These ads are on in prime time television. Are the authorities that gullible they believe gambling is better for us than beer and smokes? At least put them back to only after 9pm until 4am. Not 3 or 4 ads every ad break in prime time. It is really getting on my goat.

  • Ad Standards - 14 September 2020 - 12:27pm

    Hi J Ware, thanks for your comment. Complaints about the frequency of ads seen on TV can be lodged with the broadcaster the ad was seen on.

  • J Ware - 11 September 2020 - 8:15pm

    Gambling addiction has significant adverse effects on society. These ads need to be banned as they encourage the most vulnerable to develop this destructive addiction. The shear volume of these ads is infuriating.

  • Owen Easby - 8 September 2020 - 10:02pm

    Any fool who wants to gamble knows how to do it. Why the hell do we have to suffer bombardments by obvious drongos while we try to watch the footy?

  • B.mckay - 4 September 2020 - 9:13pm

    As per section 2.6 of the Code which states that Advertising and marketing communications shall not depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety. I believe that advertising gambling does infact breach this section.

    The link between gambling, depression and potentially leading to suicide has been proven several times, by airing constant gambling ads broadcasting company's are encouraging behaviour that destroys family's, promotes depression, sends people broke and in some cases people take their own life due to debt created by gambling addiction.

    Looking at this alone advertising gambling does in my opinion breach by depicting material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety with an emphasis on the health.

  • Ad Standards - 14 August 2020 - 10:44am

    Hi Craig, thanks for your comment. Ad Standards deals with concerns about the content of ads and you can easily lodge a complaint through our website (www.adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint).

    If your concern is about the timing and frequency of ads please direct your complaint to the television station the ad was aired on, or Free TV (www.freetv.com.au/contact-us/viewer-feedback-complaints/).

  • Craig Gibbs - 14 August 2020 - 7:55am

    Watching fox sports news in the morning and at 07:45am a 5 minute TAB ad came on for the Friday night odds. Shame on Foxtel for being so money hungry that they need these ads, it's bad enough having to sit through gambling ads before and during live sport without being bombarded with it during the day.

  • Fazal shakaib - 24 June 2020 - 11:46am

    I am absolutely flabbergasted that Snapchat has a Sportsbet filter. I complained immediately. these ads need to stop full stop. We need to tackle this horrible industry head on.

  • Sheryl Neal - 27 May 2020 - 5:57pm

    The betting ads are an abomination .. I cannot believe they are allowed to be run during prime viewing time. I really thought that legal restrictions had been implemented years ago.
    Surely these are the last thing our young people need to be exposed to... parenting is difficult enough in these times especially as most children have access to technology.
    I find them personally extremely offensive.

  • Andrea mason - 15 May 2020 - 7:06am

    Why can't they have there own channel so if you choose not to watch this crap then you don't have to, I can't help think all this advertising has made a lot more gambling adics in the long run, they only care about money and nothing more.

  • John Eland - 15 May 2020 - 6:55am

    In my opinion they should All be banned, they are like a rash all over the TV and the net and even my kids are being bombarded with ads when they are on the net and there as appears to be no solution.

  • Tracy - 8 May 2020 - 12:27pm

    I am so outraged to see yet 'another' company advertising gambling on TV last night. There is no attempt to lessen these ads, they just added another betting site to use! I am so tired of being BOMBARDED by these ads. Alcohol and cigarettes are banned so how on earth can betting be permitted? Obviously no one is paying attention to the comments on this site and elsewhere. Maybe these companies should go and spend time with people who have a gambling addict in their family and just see how damaging it is to all involved. Just because it is an app on the mobile phone doesn't make it any less addictive or damaging to those involved.

  • Anne Brooke - 5 April 2020 - 7:58am

    I am fed up of all the gambling adverts on the TV. We did it for smoking we need to do it now for TV
    Gambling is totally addictive and this relentless advertising is influencing people to gamble. It’s appalling.

  • Ad Standards - 13 February 2020 - 1:57pm

    In response to Mrs Smit - 3 February 2020

    Thanks for your comment Mrs Smit – any concerns about the frequency of ads should be directed to Free TV (complaints.freetv.com.au/Submission). If you have a concern about the content of an advertisement, you can lodge a complaint with Ad Standards through our website by searching this link: adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint

  • Mrs Smit - 3 February 2020 - 9:36pm

    It is not safe for our kids to see gambling ads during news time. It aired more than twice on 3/2/20 at around 18:25 on 7 news. They might think it’s ok without anybody explaining about the addiction.

  • Annie - 22 January 2020 - 6:56pm

    I'm sick of seeing betting ads! Watching tv in the morning with my kids and every ad break has a gambling ad. If you can't gamble until you're 18 then these ads should be on after dark like sex toy ads. Please do something about it!

  • Brendan Donnelly - 17 November 2019 - 11:33pm

    It’s not right that sports coverage is full of gambling ads. Gambling can easily become an addictive habit, I don’t want my children exposed to these ads. We must take action now. Ban gambling ads.

  • Jo - 1 November 2019 - 7:49pm

    I am watching Better Homes and Gardens with my 10 year old daughter. During the commercial breaks, the amount of gambling ads is just astounding. I am disgusted with this and find it unbelievable that this level of gambling adds can be shown in a timeslot where young children will be exposed to them. So disappointing.

  • Anita - 31 October 2019 - 9:47pm

    I wish to object to the increased volume of gambling advertising on free to air tv. It is EVERY ad break and some ad breaks are 'sponsored' by Ladbrokes - A company the makes lads - and lasses broke. It is a disgrace to put an addictive product on tv for vulnerable people and children to be bombarded by

  • Louise McLean - 30 October 2019 - 8:59pm

    The frequency of all Gambling Ads must stop! Whilst the Ad Standards association do not have control over the frequency and only the compliance of the standard surely there is opportunity to put pressure on the frequency of such ads as these ads effect people’s health and safety in the form of increasing anxiety, stress, financial distress and more with a person and their family.
    I will start a petition !

  • JENNIFER LONG - 29 October 2019 - 12:55pm

    In the last few weeks there has been a plethora of gambling/betting ads, during daylight hours also. It's on a lot of channels and I'm sick of seeing them. Good way of getting young Australians to start a gambling habit.. We may has well put the cigarette and alcohol ads back on TV.

  • Lorraine James - 28 October 2019 - 3:52pm

    The sheer volume of gambling and betting ads on TV at the moment is atrocious! It is incredibly offensive for someone who does not believe in horse racing to see this advertised 3 times per break!! Such double standards - it needs to stop! All the money is obviously going somewhere and either the ABS or Government need to act! This issue needs to be re-examined.

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