July 4, 2023 3 min read


Jamie Nettleton: Banning Ads Will Benefit Offshore Operators

The ban will make regulated companies less competitive than their offshore counterparts, Nettleton argued

Jamie Nettleton, partner at the Australian law firm Addisons, spoke with Inside Asian Gaming about the dangers of banning online gambling advertising. According to him, such a drastic move would channel players toward the dangerous black market.

A recent parliamentary report in Australia proposed the gradual ban of online gambling ads. Under the proposal, ads will be banned in four phases. During the first one, online gambling inducements and advertising on social media will be prohibited.

The second phase would see all online gambling advertising and commentary on odds banned during sports broadcasts, as well as an hour before and after them. In-stadia and player jersey sponsorships will also be prohibited.

The third phase would prohibit the airing of online gambling advertising between 6 am and 10 pm. Finally, the fourth and final phase would introduce a blanket ban on iGaming advertising and sponsorship, with the exception of advertising on dedicated racing and betting channels.

Nettleton Says the Ban Would Benefit the Black Market

During his interview with the news outlet, Nettleton commented on the theoretical effect a blanket ban on advertising may have. He noted that taking ads out of the equation would endanger the business of legal companies.

Stacking restrictions, such as a ban on ads, restrictions on what products can be offered, tight KYC requirements and rising taxes will make regulated companies less competitive than their offshore counterparts, Nettleton argued.

As a result, many players may prefer playing with unlicensed foreign brands. Nettleton believes that what defines a licensed company is “access to the market.” Access to the market, according to him, is not just having customers but also being able to market to those customers, allowing them to keep on coming.

Nettleton pointed out that other regulated jurisdictions have also introduced certain restrictions on advertising but few to the same extent as what is being proposed in Australia.

“Those Who Recognize a Good Price Will Find Better Odds and Utilize Them”

While Nettleton acknowledged that Australia’s Gambling Law prohibits offshore operators from operating in Australia, he added that it isn’t illegal for Australians to participate in games offered by black market companies.

And speaking of law and regulation, Nettleton also expressed his skepticism about the proposals to establish a nationwide gambling regulator, replacing the current state-based model. In his view, such a move may create more problems than solutions as conflicts between the states are sure to sprout up.

I mean, how is NSW going to justify continuing its Point of Consumption tax if there is a national regulator generating levies? How is that going to work out? Product fees are also issued at a state level, and no one will want to give up the golden goose.

Jamie Nettleton, partner at Addisons

When asked whether he believes such a regulator will be established, Nettleton replied that he cannot say anything with certainty. However, the analyst is highly doubtful of the proposed timeframe.


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 GamblingNews.com 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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