Featured in this article:
  • Australian gambling regulators find network ads breach rules
  • Gambling content shown during Olympics and NRL Grand Final
  • Networks in Australia cannot show gambling commercials between 5 AM and 8:30 PM

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Australian casino advertising regulations are strict

Two Australian TV networks have been punished and given warnings about their future conduct after breaching gambling advertising rules Down Under.

Seven and Nine Network have both been rapped for airing casino content at times when they shouldn’t.

The decision by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to penalise the networks, rather than the casinos, is an important distinction that could well be tested at later dates if similar breaches of the rules are found.

In two separate investigations it was discovered that the broadcasters had showcased casino advertising content outside of the permitted time slots.

“These rules exist to address community concerns about excessive exposure to betting promotions. Both Seven and Nine are well aware that they have to keep these ads to certain times,” said Nerida O’Loughlin, the ACMA Chair.

Australia gambling commercial Olympics

49 Australian gambling commercials were broadcast during the Olympics

What Happened?

Both Seven and Nine Network were found to have breached gambling advertising regulations on their networks. One investigation found Seven to have aired 49 betting promotions during its 2021 Olympic coverage in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne. Seven was also found to have made gambling ads visible to viewers a live stream.

Meanwhile, Nine Network broadcast a gambling commercial during the half-time pause of their coverage of the National Rugby League Grand Final on October 3 last year.

Both incidents were conferred breaches of the ACMA regulations. Broadcasters cannot show gambling commercials during coverage of live sporting evenings between 5 AM and 8:30 PM. Gambling ads are permitted after this time, but are restricted to specific ad breaks.

“Many families enjoy watching sport as a shared activity and parents worry that children exposed to these ads may normalise betting as a part of sport,” added O’Loughlin.

“It is disappointing that both networks have failed to meet their responsibilities on such high-profile sporting events.”

Punishment For Breaches

Both Seven and Nine Network have been punished for their breaches of the rules, but have avoided fines. The two networks have agreed to enter into a court-enforceable cooperation with the ACMA to implement systems to avoid breaking the rules again. Staff will be retrained to understand the rules around scheduling advertising commercials during sports programs. Both networks must also track complaints that are put to them from viewers.

It is just the latest in a string of legal issues that has befallen Australia in recent months in regards sports betting and online gambling. A number of high-profile Australian casinos – including Crown and Star Sydney – have been rapped for money launching breaches and told to improve or face losing their licenses.

Unibet was found to be in breach of the advertising Code of Ethics for a commercial that said “Cashing Out is for Pussies”. Unibet was also fined $26,500 last year for breaching promotional rules.

And casinos are being warned that there is a crackdown on junkets that seek to exploit high-spending groups of players from Asia.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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