The Australian government has been cracking down on gambling ads during sporting events on television for quite some time, and now the focus has shifted to online streams. In a recent decision, lawmakers have banned all advertisements that promote gambling during events that are streamed online from 5am to 8:30pm.
No Ads On Any Sports Broadcasts
Earlier this year, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) stated that any proposed changes could be made to the ban by July 26. During that time, ACMA worked together with the Australian government to come up with amendments that would limit the amount of exposure for gambling operators during live sports broadcasts online. The new laws now that no gambling ads can be shown between 5am and 8:30, and this will take effect on September 28.
Originally, regulations stated that no restrictions would be placed on “low audience” sports channels – which attract under 100 000 users per month. However, this is no longer the case. Gambling ads will be banned across all online channels, no matter how many viewers tune in to watch sports on the sites.
A Plan to Reduce Problem Gambling
The idea behind banning gambling ads across online and television sports broadcasts is to help drive down problem gambling rates across the country, and to prevent young people from becoming interesting in wagering on sports. Problem gambling numbers in Australia are quite high when compared to other countries, and it is believed that is sports spectators see fewer gambling ads they will not feel compelled to wager on the games.
The government also wants to separate the activities of gambling and betting. Problem gambler experts believe that young people who watch sports and see gambling ads may not be able to separate the sport from wagering, thinking that it’s essential to be a true fan. Without gambling ads being played during matches, it is hoped that fewer young people will get involved with betting and other gambling activities.
ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin says:
“This brings online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services. It creates a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms.”
There will be a test period of 12 months until September 2019. At this time, ACMA and the Australian government will review the ban to determine whether or not the new gambling guidelines are effective in the decline of problem gambling rates. If there is not a significant change, then more revisions will be made to continue to help prevent problem gambling from becoming a larger problem across the country.