In spite of the current ban on gambling ads during live broadcasts of sports events prior to 8:30 PM that has been in place since 2018 in Australia, sportsbooks have continued to make their way to their targeted and fully engaged audiences. The restrictions imposed on sports betting ads during G-rated programs in specific time slots generated similarly poor results in the last years. Ex-Senator Nick Xenophon is now asking for a better grip on the problem.
Xenophon Wants Gambling Ads on TV to Copy Alcohol Ads’ Airtimes
The former South Australia Senator has asked for stricter control over gambling ads on TV, following the airtime model of alcohol advertisements. The latter currently runs between 12 PM and 3 PM on school days and 8:30 PM and 5 AM Monday to Sunday. In parallel, TV gambling ads are allowed to run nonstop, with the exception of children’s programs, news, sports programs, and current affairs.
To further prove his point, Xenophon compared the complete ban on tobacco advertisements on all platforms, the heavy restrictions imposed on alcohol ads, and sports betting and gambling ads which have not been subject to a similar treatment. He also added that sportsbooks should give 20% of the amount they spend on their advertising campaigns to a dedicated fund for gambling harm reduction. According to a Nielsen Institute report, gambling ads in Victoria alone have gone up by 253% between 2016 and 2021. Soccer fans also ranked gambling advertising as a problem, according to a poll by the AFL Fans Association.
Australians Lose Over AU$1.2 billion (US$850 million) a Year on Sports Betting
Without counting in lost bets on horse racing, bettors from Down Under lose a grand total of AU$1.2 billion ($850 million) a year. By adding in the continuously growing harm levels caused by sports betting with special emphasis on the younger audience, Xenophon considers the restrictions on TV gambling ads to be a critical necessity in the country.
Following the same lead, the ex-Senator who is now running for another term has also asked for a total ban on gambling sponsorship for Australian sporting clubs. He referred to the successful examples given by countries like Spain and Italy that decided to completely shut off all types of sponsorship deals between the gambling industry and Aussie sports clubs.
The UK Is Ready to Apply More Protective Rules
In April, the UK’s Committee for Advertising Practice expressed its intention to implement fresh gambling ad rules. The new regulations are tightly connected to the committee’s dedication to protecting youngsters and other vulnerable members of the audience from gambling harm.
Starting October 1, 2022, the new set of rules will forbid advertisers searching from using social media influencers, famous sportspeople, and VIPs to promote their brands while appealing to an underage audience.