To widen the scope of Australian gambling reforms a comprehensive study commissioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has been published. It has been unveiled that gambling companies targeting the Australian market have a strong inclination towards promoting their services on free-to-air (FTA) TV and radio channels. This strategic choice has turned the media landscape of the country into a battleground, as these companies vie for customer attention.
The research, reported by Casino Guardian and Casino.org, reveals that the free airwaves have been awash with over one million gambling advertisements between May 2022 and April 2023. This advertising frenzy has been significantly fueled by online gambling providers, which accounted for nearly half of these ads.
A regional divide emerges in this landscape, with a notable 58% of the total number of gambling ads on regional free-to-air television channels originating from online gambling businesses. Even in the metro areas, online gambling companies hold sway, with 51% of FTA TV ads attributed to this sector.
The financial aspect of this advertising onslaught is equally striking. Free-to-air television stands out as the prime battleground for advertising expenditure, constituting up to 68% of the overall spending. The survey discloses a substantial AU$133 million spent on metro free-to-air television channels and another AU$29 million on their regional counterparts.
In stark contrast, social media accounted for only 15% of the advertising expenditures, which equates to AU$34.6 million. Metro radio markets and their online platforms made up 9% (AU$22.4 million) and 8% (AU$19.5 million) of the total expenditure, respectively.
A peculiar temporal distribution pattern emerges in the world of gambling advertising. Gambling operators seem to be in a race to establish their presence during the evening broadcasts, with 22% of gambling ads flooding free-to-air television channels from 7:00 PM to 10:00 PM. The zenith of this advertising frenzy occurs between 9:00 PM and 10:00 PM, with both metro and regional television markets experiencing a significant surge in ads. Online gambling service providers significantly expand their outreach during this hour, airing a staggering 24,000 ads. This has raised concerns about the potential impact on vulnerable individuals.
Australian gambling reforms activists note that it is notjust adults but children who are overly exposed to gambling adverts.
As previously reported by all reputable news outlets, Australian lawmakers are considering the implementation of stringent measures on gambling advertisements in the country. While the decision is not yet finalized, the discussion has ignited a heated debate concerning the balance between public well-being and the interests of the gambling sector.
Competent authorities are also contemplating more radical proposals in light of growing concerns about the increasing influence of gambling advertisements on vulnerable individuals, coupled with the rise in popularity of online gambling services.
As part of local Australian gambling reforms the NSW government has taken a significant step to address problem gambling by introducing a ban on such signage. This ban came into effect on 1 September this year. The goal is to reduce the visibility of gambling-related promotions and minimize harm associated with gambling.
Pubs and clubs will receive formal notifications starting next week, instructing them to remove, alter, or conceal exterior signs related to gambling before the September deadline. Venues that can demonstrate delays in complying, due to factors beyond their control, will be granted an additional three months to meet the new regulations. However, it’s important to note that after this grace period, the government will adopt a zero-tolerance approach.
As part of the ban, names such as VIP Room/Lounge, Golden Room/Lounge, Players’ Room/Lounge, and Prosperity Room/Lounge will be prohibited. Additionally, images of dragons, coins, or lightning motifs will also be covered by the ban.
In the backdrop of this advertising landscape, Australian lawmakers are contemplating a phased three-year rollout of a complete ban on gambling advertising. This decision has sparked a heated debate, focusing on the balance between commercial interests and public well-being.
Proponents argue that a ban could benefit public health and well-being by mitigating the risks of addiction. However, opponents suggest that it might make it harder for consumers to differentiate licensed from unlicensed platforms and could impact FTA broadcasters, potentially leading to lower-quality programming.
The debate continues, and the final decision is still months away.
Australia’s media landscape has truly become a battleground for gambling operators. This study sheds light on their advertising strategies and the critical role of online gambling services. We will keep you updated on any developments in this ongoing debate.
Don’t be the last to know about the latest bonuses, new casino launches, or exclusive promotions. Join us today!