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Advertising blackout due to the latest gambling reform proposals in Australia



Australia’s House of Representatives has published a fresh report outlining numerous regulatory measures aimed at reducing gambling-related harm in the country. Titled “Online gambling and its impacts on those experiencing gambling harm,” the report was released on June 28 by the Australian Government’s Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs.

The report encompasses 31 recommendations that concentrate on addressing gambling harm through the implementation of new regulatory measures. One of the key proposals is the establishment of a national online gambling regulator responsible for overseeing and licensing online gambling activities throughout Australia.

Currently, gambling in Australia is regulated by regional bodies such as Liquor & Gaming New South Wales and the Northern Territory Racing Commission. The report suggests a new requirement for mandatory verification of customers’ identities prior to their participation in any online gambling, along with the introduction of a national self-exclusion register.

Furthermore, the report advocates for the imposition of a universal duty of care across all gambling operators. It also suggests initiating consultations to determine bet limits for online gambling.


An extensive reform of advertising practices

The report introduces a significant recommendation concerning gambling advertising in all media outlets. It controversially proposes a comprehensive ban on all forms of gambling advertisements, to be implemented gradually over a three-year period.

The first phase of the ban aims to prohibit gambling inducements and ads on social media and online platforms, excluding dedicated racing channels and programming.

Additionally, the advertising ban would extend to operators being prohibited from paying commissions to any party, including affiliate websites and their staff, for referring gambling customers.

Currently, Australian broadcasters are already restricted from airing gambling advertisements during live sporting events broadcasted between 5 am and 8:30 pm. Beyond this time frame, gambling ads are permitted but are confined to specific breaks as per strict regulations.


The response from the industry

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), a trade association representing licensed gambling companies in Australia, has expressed its concerns regarding the proposed advertising ban, stating that it may be “a step too far.”

CEO Kai Cantwell emphasized that while the association acknowledges the community’s concerns regarding gambling advertising, there are more effective approaches to meet those expectations. He suggested an alternative solution, such as implementing a cap on the number of gambling advertisements shown. Cantwell added that blanket bans, even if phased in gradually, are shortsighted, ineffective, and do not provide a solution.

Cantwell further highlighted that strict measures, like blanket bans and the prohibition of inducements such as bonus bets, often fail to address problem gambling adequately. He pointed out that Australians may turn to illegal offshore markets when seeking these options if such bans are imposed. According to RWA, 47% of Australian gamblers have already utilized offshore operators, and a complete ban on gambling advertising could potentially worsen this situation.

The association also emphasized the efforts undertaken by its members to enhance consumer protection in Australia. These measures include implementing robust identity verification processes, adhering to the National Consumer Protection Framework, and prohibiting the use of credit cards for online gambling.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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