Wagering advertising

The AANA Wagering Advertising & Marketing Communication Code (the Wagering Code) came into effect on 1 July 2016. The object of this Code is to ensure that advertisers and marketers develop and maintain a high sense of social responsibility in advertising and marketing wagering products in Australia.

What does it cover?

Advertising or marketing communications on any medium which is undertaken by, or on behalf of a licenced operator of wagering product or services.

This includes advertising for betting on horse races, harness races, greyhound races, sporting events, novelty events or other contingencies (or a series of races, events or contingencies); but does not include gaming, such as casino games or electronic gaming machines, keno, lotto and lottery products or trade promotions.

For the purposes of this code, Wagering Product or Service includes betting on fantasy sport teams, odds compilation and tipping services offered or provided by a Licensed Operator.

Provisions of the Code

There are nine Sections under the Wagering Code outlining restrictions on wagering advertising. These Sections cover that advertising and marketing communications for a wagering product or service:

  • Must not, having regard to the theme, visuals and language used, be directed primarily to minors.
  • Must not depict a person who is a minor unless the person is shown in an incidental role in a natural situation and where there is no implication they will engage in wagering activities.
  • Must not depict a person aged 18-24 years old engaged in wagering activities.
  • Must not portray, condone or encourage wagering in combination with the consumption of alcohol.
  • Must not state or imply a promise of winning.
  • Must not portray, condone or encourage participation in wagering activities as a means of relieving a person’s financial or personal difficulties.
  • Must not state or imply a link between wagering and sexual success or enhanced attractiveness.
  • Must not portray, condone or encourage excessive participation in wagering activities.
  • Must neither portray, condone or encourage peer pressure to wager nor disparage abstention from wagering activities.

For more information on these Sections read the AANA Practice Note.

AANA Code of Ethics

All forms of advertising are covered by the AANA Code of Ethics (the Code) and Ad Standards will also consider complaints against wagering advertisements under this Code. Advertisers should ensure they do not breach any Section of the Code, in particular Section 2.6 which states that Advertising and marketing communications shall not depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.

While the Ad Standards Community Panel cannot look at the placement or frequency of advertisements, it can look at the messages shown in the advertisement. In the past the Community Panel has found that advertisements encouraging excessive gambling, or that may make gambling attractive to children, breach the AANA Code of Ethics on the grounds that it goes against the prevailing community standards about what constitutes safe or responsible gambling. 

Broadcast Industry Code

In response to community concern about gambling advertising, particularly during sporting events, amendments were made in 2013 to the various national broadcast industry Codes restricting the promotion of live odds during broadcast of sports events and imposing limitations on discussing live odds during commentary. This includes FreeTV, Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association and Commercial Radio Australia Codes. Under these Codes gambling advertisements must also be clearly identified as such.  

Further restrictions were added in March 2018 which apply to the broadcast of gambling advertisements, including betting-odds, during live sporting events on free-to-air TV, commercial radio and online service providers. The new rules supplement existing rules and introduce restrictions that gambling ads cannot be played during live sporting events broadcast between 5am and 8:30pm, and five minutes before and after the event

In addition, where applicable, legislation that regulates the medium by which the advertisement is capable of being publicly viewed, such as the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (Cth) (BSA), establishes the framework by which Australian television and radio stations are licensed and includes advertising restrictions which apply to these licensees.

Complaints about other gambling advertising

In Australia, gambling operators that seek to legitimately advertise their products and services are subject to a comprehensive framework of Codes, regulations and legislation. For more information on these regulations see the gambling advertising page.