Australia Introduces Sports Betting Ads Ban

The Australian Federal government has a ruled that, effective March 30th, betting ads during daytime live sports broadcasts will be banned. Between 5 am and 8.30 pm, five minutes before the start of play and five minutes after the end of the event, betting companies will not be allowed to advertise their products. The ban does not extend to horse, harness or dog racing events.

In addition, it does not apply to online advertising, although the government has warned that it will examine this issue in a separate bill. Betting companies attempted to lobby the government to allow advertising during long sports events such as Test matches or the Olympics, but their request was turned down.

The Australian Subscription Television Association also said that the ban would not extend to ‘low-audience’ sports channels, namely Eurosport, ESPN and ESPN2, saying that “the principle is that the small channels would be disproportionately affected; very few children watch these channels.”

There was expected criticism following the government’s announcement, with opponents saying that there were many open questions regarding the ban. A spokesperson for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Stephen Mayne, said that the “code is complex and some of the provisions are open to interpretation, such as whether Western Australian and South Australian viewers will face advertising earlier than the east coast.”

Mayne said that the Alliance would wait to see how the new ban operates after April 1st.