New Research Sheds Light on Gambling Advertising Trends in Australia
Australia is a nation where gambling enjoys immense popularity, with approximately 73% of Australian adults having engaged in gambling activities at least once in the 12 months from July 2021 to July 2022. However, the impact of gambling, especially in terms of its financial and social consequences, can be severe for some individuals and their families.
Regulatory Measures for Safer Gambling
In response to the growing concerns around gambling, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced regulations in 2018 to restrict gambling advertising during live sports events, both on broadcast and online platforms. These rules aimed to enhance community protections, particularly when children are likely to be part of the viewing audience.
These restrictions encompassed traditional television broadcasting and marked the first time that online streaming services were required to comply with such advertising restrictions.
When Restrictions Apply
The rules restrict gambling advertising between 5:00 am and 8:30 pm, with a ban on such advertising during live play, within breaks during play, and within 5 minutes before and after live sporting event coverage. Outside of these hours, gambling advertising is permitted during scheduled and unscheduled breaks.
Additionally, commercial television industry codes of practice have put in place further safeguards, restricting gambling advertising on commercial television during G-rated or lower-rated programs aired at specific times when children might be viewing.
After implementing these regulations, ACMA conducted monitoring programs to assess the impact and operation of these restrictions. The agency also tracked public complaints and analyzed market trends. Their research aims to provide insights into recent trends in gambling advertising and contribute to the broader discussion on policy and regulatory reforms in the industry.
The research, conducted using Nielsen Ad Intel data, provides valuable insights into the volume and spending on gambling advertising in Australia between May 2022 and April 2023.
- Over 1 million gambling advertisements were aired on free-to-air TV (metro and regional) and metro radio. Online gambling providers accounted for 50% of these ads.
- Online gambling providers spent the most on free-to-air TV, metro radio, and online advertising, making up 64% of the total advertising spend.
- Free-to-air TV received the largest share of advertising expenditure (68%), followed by social media (15%), metro radio (9%), and other online platforms (8%).
- Peak times for gambling ads on free-to-air TV were between 7 and 10 pm, with the highest number of ads airing between 9 and 10 pm.
- Metro radio saw peak gambling ads during morning and evening commuting hours (6 to 8 am and 5 to 6 pm).
The research offers a comprehensive view of the gambling advertising landscape in Australia, providing detailed insights into spending, timing, and advertising trends. In a climate of heightened interest in the impact of gambling advertising, this research serves as a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate surrounding policy and regulatory reforms in the sector.