Australian live sport gambling ad ban to kick in soon

Business News

Gambling ads in Australia will be banned during live sport broadcasts between 5am and 8.30pm from March 30.

The already-announced restrictions are part of new industry codes registered by the media watchdog, applying to commercial free-to-air TV, radio and pay TV.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said on Friday further legislation before parliament will ensure similar rules apply to online content.

CEO of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, said the new provisions were developed by the industry in consultation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), as part of the Federal Government’s media reform package.

“The industry has taken community concerns about gambling on board and our members are implementing measures to ensure they comply with the new rules when they come into force on 30 March,” Warner said.

“We are concerned that similar restrictions for online platforms have not yet been put in place. In fact, the legislation that will underpin rules to be developed by the ACMA has not yet been passed by the Parliament.

“Even after the legislation is passed there will be a period of development by the ACMA and then a period of public consultation. This creates a real risk that gambling advertising will simply be shifted online for the time, possibly some months, during which no rules apply.”

The Federal Government announced in May 2017 that the restrictions on gambling ads would apply to commercial radio, commercial and subscription television, SBS and online platforms.

The new code implements a ban on advertising gambling, including betting odds, between 5.00am and 8.30pm from 5 minutes before the scheduled start of play to 5 minutes after the end of play.

Restrictions will also apply to advertising during long form live sports coverage such as tennis, cricket and the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

The changes supplement the existing rules that prohibit the promotion of betting odds during live sport.