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

  • 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 (

  • 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.

  • Chris McGinty - 15 September 2019 - 3:38pm

    Please stop all gambling advertising
    It is negative and impacts poorly on families and society as a whole
    All gambling advertisements should be banned particularly before 8 at night
    Why would we let anything encourage kids to take up gambling ?

  • Rob - 26 August 2019 - 10:51pm

    The number, frequency and taste of gambling ads are appalling, they seem to mock how they are getting away with it and the media just supports them because they are clearly paying an insain amount for advertising. You can't watch a movie on tv without every ad break have at least 1 sporting related gambling ad. And if it close to a major sporting event that increases to upto 4 in a single break. All the "celebrities" who appear/associate with gambling ads should also be ashamed. The greed of $ in its pure form.

  • Andrea mason - 22 August 2019 - 7:37am

    All gambling TV ads should be taken of all channels, it does no good and encourages gambling across the spectrum, gambling is so addictive and destructive it is totally irresponsible to advertise it, the government should ban it outright, it does make me wonder though who made money from the deregulation of gambling ads?

  • Anonymous - 8 August 2019 - 1:25pm

    Gambling ads are ridiculous. As spoken about by many others, it's like giving alcohol to an alcoholic. Gambling destroys lives. We're not taking care of our people. Even the kids are being hit by them. Sports Bet and Neds are even able to put their ads on YouTube now on videos meant for children and teenagers. Not to mention, they've created channels. It's all over our tellies as well.

  • MARGARET DRUMMOND - 2 August 2019 - 7:02pm

    The number of ads on tv for gambling is beyond a joke. They are on every ad break and more than once in each break also i believe gambling is ruining football

  • Roslyn Pitt - 14 May 2019 - 7:13pm

    Why is nothing done about the amount of advertising we have to see on television in relation to gambling? They go on about suicide, do they not realise how much of that is related to people that have lost everything due to their gambling addiction. The constant barrage of advertising on gambling is like giving a bottle of alcohol to an alcoholic. The Americans have it right making it illegal. Surely if we can ban guns, we can ban gambling or at the very least the advertising of it.

  • Deborah - 24 April 2019 - 10:56am

    We should all turn off the TV or channel showing these despicable, soul destroying ads as the Government will do NOTHING as it reaps in too much money for them. Is there a responsible politician out there who would do something?? I doubt it.

  • Anonymous - 10 April 2019 - 10:56pm

    Gambling is an addiction and why this is promoted is beyond me. Why do we continue to allow gambling companies to suck in more people and get them hooked. That is the purpose of the ads. They know people want to win and when they try and lose, but get close, they try again, and the trap begins. Please BAN gambling ads just like smoking ads are banned. This will be better for Australia as a whole. We waste so much money on this disastrous addiction and people cannot regain control with the constant bombardment of ads.

  • Nikii - 3 April 2019 - 9:12pm

    In my opinion, no ads of any kind should include the content of gambling, alcohol/drugs or cigarettes. They all belong in the same category and it is not responsible to advertise for any of them ever. I would recommend that the gambling ads and alcohol ads are removed from all forms of advertising. Why aren’t they? Money. And I believe that the government get a cut of those $$$$.

  • Sharon - 30 March 2019 - 2:04am

    Please, just STOP ALL GAMBLING ADS.
    The damage done to families is as horrendous as it is with ALL addictions.
    Just get some morals for everyones sake, be decent caring human beings and just stop the ads, & stop the greed that started them. Please.

  • Ian - 29 March 2019 - 2:44pm

    these gambling ads are obnoxious and are bad for the image of australia, do something about it.

  • Rolf - 28 March 2019 - 10:40pm

    I am fed up with the onslaught and barrage of gambling ads on tv. Channel 7 news has heaps of gambling ads when airing. Why? Alcohol and smoking was banned to lower the potential of people taking up these bad habits. Gambling is highly addictive, destructive to individuals, their families and friends. Gambling can be described like a cancer. It is relentless killer of bank accounts. The owners of these organizations are the only winners and don't care about the harm that they are doing - could almost be compared to the thinking of drug lords - They are lining their pockets at the expense of others

  • Jillian Margrie - 27 March 2019 - 7:34pm

    Like so many others i totally object to gambling ad advertisements. Have just seen in the last half hour ads by 4 different betting "agencies". Please belp take them off air altogether! Interesting that beer ads have re-appeared

  • J thompson - 26 March 2019 - 7:29pm

    Why has something not been done about the amount of gambling ads on TV when it is such a problem for a lot of people , they took cigarette ads off because of the health risks and that they would in courage people to smoke but not the gambling ones which are just as dangerous and there are twice as many , the government needs to step in to stop it

  • Brenda Griffiths - 22 March 2019 - 9:37pm

    I was so excited to see the footy is back on. What I don’t like is having so many gambling ads in such a short amount of time ie 3 in 10 minutes. Sportsbet is as bad as Ladbrokes.

  • Fiona - 3 March 2019 - 8:05pm

    Gambling addiction is a serious health risk to our community, families and mental health and I would applaud and welcome all advertising for all gambling to be restricted. It should be treated the same way as the tobacco industry in my opinion

  • Jason Bawn - 21 February 2019 - 12:23am

    I’m sick to death of these ads. They are too frequent and simply serve no purpose other than to seek and destroy many innocent lives, not to mention the government kickbacks from these ads. I am tired of changing the channel every time these worthless ads appear while watching a program. Please cease and desist.

  • Jan Wood - 10 February 2019 - 10:12pm

    During a 2 hour period last night there were 17 different companies advertising, some of them 2 or 3 times. Ban them !

  • Rod Openshaw - 31 December 2018 - 12:03am

    There are still at the end of 2018 too many gambling advertisements Encouraging youg people to part with there hard earned money and making out it’s just harmless fun. For many it will mean applying to money lending sharks. This is causing misery for the many and there is only one winner and it’s certainly not the gullible punter. Enough is enough

  • Katrina - 15 November 2018 - 6:26am

    Gambling is totally addictive and the gambling adverts on television should be banned. They prey on vulnerable people who may be in financial difficulty and you can’t avoid them. They are shown on sports breaks when children are watching so they start thinking it’s normal. It’s absolutely appalling and it’s about time something was done to stop it.

  • CAROL - 10 November 2018 - 1:28am

    I'm also astounded by the amount of advertising on TV recently which seems to have escalated to a very concerning amount. I have worked with many people with gambling addictions and I certainly am very concerned that the average family and many-many children are seeing these advertisements on a daily basis. There has to be some responsibility taken by the advertisers to be sure these adverts are at the very least only after a 10pm time slot. And also to be aware that they are aware of the influence and encouragement that this has on adults and in particular those who already have addiction issues and may be in recovery. I hope these comments are taken seriously and are actioned.

  • LJC - 8 November 2018 - 1:56pm

    It is now beyond a joke. How much gambling advertising is forced upon you no matter where you are. Watching tv. Riding a bus. Online. Phone apps. If we have a problem with gambling... Why have it advertised everywhere and then tagged gamble responsibly.. Seriously. Smoke responsibly. Get drunk responsibly. There's no smoking or booze ads everywhere anymore. How. Can. You. Advertise such a thing that does nothing for the population bar cause trouble. Oh, that's right.. Cos it makes waaaay too much money for the government? :/

  • Kath Burnett - 5 November 2018 - 11:33pm

    I'm so angry right now! More so than normal, given the increase in 'gamble responsibly'ads leading up to Melbourne Cup. My sister is a fully fledged gambler. As much as she believes she can ''cure'' herself; 2 decades (or more?) later, she hasn't, and continues to gamble away her own and other peoples money and when confronted with the facts apologises, and promises, but never delivers, and the world keeps turning...... in a vicious spiral of self hate and destruction that resonates across her immediate family, but more unfortunately, is eating her alive. So stop this bullshit of, ''gamble responsibly'', because guess what.... some people CAN'T gamble responsibly! and will lie and cheat and deceive to keep this disgusting habit alive. STOP THE ADVERTISING. We did it for smoking and drinking, so lets give it a red hot go for gambling! Sadly, its a money making machine beast that the Government and greedy merchants of industry make massive profits from. It needs to end and please sign me up to make this evil, soul sucking maggot of a greedy, filthy empire come tumbling down!

  • Jusin - 5 November 2018 - 3:02pm

    I’m absolutely stunned by the unrelenting gambling advertising that is allowed on our screens in this country. Today I saw the same SportsBet advertisement shown twice during one ad break. On top of this there are so many other adverts, all related to gambling apps and aimed at highlighting ease of use and the amount of assistance offered to make it easier to bet on any sports. I’d be interested to see data on how these adverts have grown over the years because, although they have been around for years, there’s now so many shown that it’s becoming an epidemic. It’s ridiculous this is allowed considering the government’s insistence that it is committed to addressing problem gambling.

  • Ad Standards - 5 November 2018 - 2:26pm

    In response to below comments:

    Ad Standards only looks at the content of advertisements, not the frequency. Complaints about the frequency of ads should be directed to the broadcaster on which you saw it, or FreeTV Australia.

    You can make a complaint on the content of an advertisement through our website

  • David - 5 November 2018 - 1:56pm

    I've stopped watching most of the commercial channels, the frequency of ads was bad enough, but the gambling Ads just became too much for me. Like most people, I have friends who struggle with gambling addiction, and these companies are like drug dealers constantly trying to tempt them into handing over their money. Thankfully Netflix has no ads whatsoever.

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