March 20, 2023 3 min read


ACT Ready to Act on Its Own Against Gambling Ads on TV and Radio

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) may seek to act ahead of any planned federal move to restrict the proliferation of gambling ads

ACT attorney general Shane Rattenbury has confirmed that should the federal government fail to reach a satisfactory decision on gambling ads in sports, the territory may be forced to act on its own and address ads which Rattenbury has described as both “pernicious” and “insidious.”

Gambling Ads Gets in ACT’s Hair

These remarks come against the backdrop of a broader opposition to gambling advertisements in sports, with the Australian Football League (AFL) recently acknowledging that ads may need to be reduced to some extent.

According to the Guardian, a growing choir of politicians in the territory, amongst which Monique Ryan and Rebekha Sharkie, have voiced their support for striking down gambling advertisements and passing laws that restrict its appearance in sports at the rates seen today. The Australian public is generally in favor of a ban on all gambling ads.

Rattenbury has commented that an ideal situation would be one in which the ACT government chooses to step up and act. Should the central government fail to do so, though, Rattenbury said the ACT is prepared to actually explore measures on its own.

There is also precedent in imposing such unilateral restrictions on a state-by-state basis, with Rattenbury citing South Australia’s restrictions on gambling advertising on TV. The regime was backed in 2013 and it has been running ever since, essentially enforcing a watershed ban with gambling advertising banned from 4 pm through 7:30 pm.

This isn’t a big window for advertisements not to be on TV, but it’s considered an important stepping stone towards more expansive measures. Rattenbury has already planned what a proposed plan would be. He argues that both TV and radio ought to be targeted lest advertisement shifts from one medium to another. But then again, there is little on how the ACT can fight against the digital advertisement.

Gambling Ads Are Having Their Last Hurrah

All of this comes against an ongoing debate on Australian gambling advertisements. Gillon McLachlan, the outgoing AFL boss, said last week that there is simply too much gambling being promoted during games. His remarks change tact from a previous position which saw the AFL mostly keep shtum about the matter while clubs began opting out of gambling partnerships.

But fans are also expecting the AFL to do right. The AFL Fans Association found out that out of 3,000 people interviewed in a recent study, 76% said that they would be happy to see a ban on gambling advertisements on TV and television, and another 79% said that they would not mind seeing the ban on promotions at stadiums.

The reality remains though that many top sports bodies have been somewhat dependent on sports gambling revenue, which may prove increasingly difficult to extricate from in future, some argue and fear. The ACT has at least some form of response to that, although sports bodies have so far been reluctant to act on their own accord.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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