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

  • 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.

  • Nasc McComber - 27 October 2019 - 9:13pm

    I am continually bombarded with gambling ads. The VIP lounges, the billboards, the TAB, the ads on tv, the ads in the paper, the lotteries at the newsagent. My pub has 20 poker machines and you can hear the bells and whistles as you walk past. How is this legal? The amount of gambling ads I am targeted with on a daily basis would be inexcess of 50 times a day.

  • Ad Standards - 21 October 2019 - 10:03am

    Complaints about the timing and frequency of television and radio gambling 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.
    However, if you believe the content of the advertisement breaches community standards as set out in the AANA Code of Ethics or the AANA Wagering Code you can lodge a complaint with Ad Standards (www.adstandards.com.au/lodge-complaint)

  • CFR - 20 October 2019 - 10:00am

    Please, please, please ban these horrific ads. My 12 year old stepdaughter is talking about the odds and I have a husband who is TRYING his best to quit his addiction but we still like watching sports!!! We can't see 5 minutes of sports without seeing SO MANY betting ads! END THEM. We know what they're doing, getting kids young so when they turn 18 they're already somewhat addicted. It's VILE.

  • Jacqui - 19 October 2019 - 7:26pm

    The ASB is clearly useless. Or the government is raking in a fortune from gambling because one of them is allowing the massive increase in gambling and betting advertising .ie. wants to increase the number of gambling addicts. Gambling ads during family programming is simply unacceptable. How do we mobilise to get something done on this? Social media campaigns??

  • Veronica - 19 October 2019 - 9:14am

    The gambling advertisements on tv really need to stop. Gambling addiction breaks families and ruins lives. We stopped the cigarette advertising due to the adverse effects on health, the same should be done gambling.

  • Elizabeth - 16 October 2019 - 10:16pm

    I wish to register a complaint about the frequency and timing of gambling ads on TV. I regularly watch sport and find that gambling ads are increasingly prevalent at times where children will most likely be watching, many of the ads before 8pm. Additionally, gambling ads are now appearing on TV programs well before the 8pm and in programs where one could reasonably expect children to be interested (The Bachelor, Survivor, and even the news for examples). Tonight I watched the Bachelorette and gambling ads were shown at 7:00 pm preceeding the show, then at 7:45pm, 7:55pm, 8:10pm, 8:15pm, 8:20pm, 8:24pm and 8:25pm. They were driving me nuts, but the cumulative effect of this type of advertising is well documented to have significant impact on impressionable children, and tries to normalise gambling behaviour when we know it is harmful to many. I object to it and I am old enough to gamble, but do not! I strongly object to this underhand brainwashing of children to see gambling as normal. We restrict alcohol and smoking advertisements because of their harmful effects on the community, therefore, why would we not do the same with gambling ads? They are ridiculously common on all channels, but Channel 9 seems to be the worst at the moment. Please do something to keep these ads off our TV screens where children and teenagers can view them easily.

  • Matt - 14 October 2019 - 8:30pm

    Introducing people to gambling via gambling advertising can lead to catastrophic addiction. There is an abundant amount of peer reviewed literature to support this and the effect of gambling addiction. It seems unfair to the tobacco industry really that they are not allowed to advertise anymore to get more people addicted to smoking! It’s not hard, ban all gambling ads - policies can be changed, it’s not gravity!!

  • Ron Hatton - 11 October 2019 - 7:55pm

    I cannot believe that there is such a saturation of betting ads in early evening time tv on commercial stations. What does this say to young people that are constantly bombarded over and over. I was under the impression betting ads were to only be shown at a later time slot but so far, nothing. Adults that need to gamble don't need to see these ads, they already know how to do it.

  • Gloria Kirkpatrick - 11 October 2019 - 7:03pm

    Why do we all have to be subjected to constant gambling ads. We don't all gamble, we don't want to hear about it constantly as if they are trying to brainwash us all, we don't want children subjected to such a bad influence. We all know the horrific effects of gambling so shouldn't we be evolving when we all know better. The non smoking campaign was to help people stop doing something that has serious consequences. Let's start a stop gambling campaign instead of perpetuating this insidious practice. Not to mention the abuse these beautiful animals have to endure for the glory and profit of their owners.

  • Sara Miller - 10 October 2019 - 11:12pm

    I am totally fed up with sports bet advertising that seems to have imcreased of late. Gambling is a terrible thing that causes all kinds of problems in society. Why is alchohol advertising and smoking banned but not Gambling? It makes no sense.

  • Marc Gillard - 8 October 2019 - 11:45pm

    my children I am being exposed to much alcohol and gambling advertisements. it needs to stop

  • Sally - 8 October 2019 - 8:38pm

    Fed up with the number of gambling ads on TV now! Every ad break there's at least 1 and often 2. They set out to normalise gambling and appeal to everyone to gamble so they get this warm fuzzy feeling of belonging to the gambling flock. These start at 7pm .... so we can teach our kids how 'normal' it is to gamble on just about any sport that occurs anywhere in the world.... Stupid!

  • Tania Green - 2 October 2019 - 10:32pm

    Enough! After all the advertising that has been banned... All the censorship on relatively harmless activities... THIS is being pushed and pushed.?? A harmful, addictive and criminally driven enterprise yet it is being promoted more than margarine!

  • Anne Bowman - 30 September 2019 - 8:26pm

    The amount of gambling advertising is out of hand. Especially in the lead up and during major sporting events. The overt pushing of gambling and ease of access to gambling through apps is very dangerous and actually quite disgusting.

  • Harry - 23 September 2019 - 12:54pm

    More suicides than drugs and alcohol combined. More family poverty than homelessness. More crime , more depression, more anxiety. Dont believe me ? Ask a gambler. The hook gets set from the first win. The losses, write your own ticket. Interesting that many of the personalities used in gambling advertising have had family breakups as a direct result of gambling. From Australian cricket captains to footballers to politicians to doctors no one is immune. To offer betting incentives is akin to drinking promotions, now banned. Wake up you gutless bag of bribed bastards and stop all advertising for these peddlers of pain.

  • Tracey Hall - 20 September 2019 - 9:45am

    I am totally disgusted in the amount of sports betting commercials on television encouraging people to gamble. Gambling is a huge problem in our society and has a devastating impact on family’s. I cannot believe these adds are allowed. Seriously this has to stop!!!! To all you advertising companies, wake up to yourself.

  • Joanne Stock - 18 September 2019 - 7:27pm

    Seriously just sat down 7pm on a Wednesday and already Ned’s and then Ladbrokes ads in 15 mins. Wonder if the government didn’t make so much money off gambling whether this would be allowed.

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