April 1, 2024 3 min read


Self-Regulation of Gambling Ads Falters during AFL Game

Tabcorp in-stadium ads were seen during a recent AFL game, despite its commitment not to advertise before 8:30 PM

In Australia, gambling is identified as a public health issue. The country is known to have the highest losses per capita out of any other in the world, but it is not only pokies that result in losses in millions every month. Sports betting is just as popular and continues to attract many young sports fans. Thanks to this proliferation, many sports fans consider wagering to be a normal part of sports.

Just like any other industry, advertising plays an important role in the gambling sector. With that in mind, understanding the negative impact of the industry prompted lawmakers to initiate major changes to the vertical. While changes in the gambling regulations on a national level are yet to come, different states across the country started to implement changes in an effort to curb problem gambling and reduce the money lost to gambling every month.

Despite the efforts, gambling ads still make it to the screens of sports fans, even though broadcasting such advertisements during sports events is prohibited. Now, a new report reveals that more than 70 gambling ads promoting Tabcorp, the Australian gambling giant, were seen in the first few minutes of a round one AFL game that aired before 8 PM.

As announced by the Guardian, the gambling ads were displayed on the field’s digital billboards and exploited a gap in the existing regulations that do not prohibit the use of such spaces. This gap in the regulations effectively allows gambling operators to pay for the pitch-side banners that are in view of the cameras, otherwise positioning gambling ads in view of broadcasts of live sports events.

A Spokesperson Confirms the Operator Made an Error

Last year, the AFL Fan Association unveiled details regarding a survey that saw an overwhelming majority of sports fans oppose gambling ads. Per that survey, a staggering 79% of the fans of the sport said that gambling ads should be banned at stadiums. Upon uncovering the result of the survey, the AFL Fan Association’s president, Ron Issko, said that the result was both “disappointing and frustrating.” Moreover, he pointed out: “Fans had clearly said that they want gambling ads significantly reduced, if not abolished, at grounds, on TV, on radio, on social media – and they are concerned we are normalizing gambling.”

Our position on in-stadium advertising is the same as our position on free-to-air television advertising – we don’t advertise before 8:30 PM and have not done so since an error was made in Round 1,

explains a spokesperson for Tabcorp

A spokesperson for Tabcorp said that the company follows the same rules for free-to-air TV advertising as it does for in-stadium advertising. Under those rules, Tabcorp commits to no advertisements before 8:30 PM, adding that it was an error for the ads to appear during the Round 1 AFL game. “We know the community is over it and it’s the right thing to do,” said the spokesperson in conclusion.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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