Gambling ad spend surges 26% in year to July

By AdNews | 14 October 2018
Sportsbet's Ben Johnson ad.

Gambling advertising investment has grown by 26% to $140 million in the year to July in spite of tougher restrictions introduced this year around when betting shops can run TV and online betting ads.

Other categories that have reported huge growth in media spend are domestic banks and utilities.

Standard Media Index figures shared exclusively with AdNews found huge surges in year-on-year gambling ad spend across all of the major channels in the year to July. This was led by a 121% growth in newspapers, 84% growth in cinema, and 60% growth in outdoor.

Even in TV, which has faced heavier restrictions on when gambling ads are allowed to run, betting firms spent 15% more in the calendar year to July than in the same period a year ago.

In July, gambling advertising revenue grew 30% year-on-year with lifts across TV, digital, outdoor and radio.

“Gambling ad spend has no doubt been buoyed by the number of major sporting events in the first half of the year, and also increased competition within the sector,” SMI ANZ managing director Jane Ratcliffe told AdNews.

Recently, the Australian government has tightened regulation around when gambling ads can be shown on TV and online.

New rules prevent gambling ads from being shown during live sport between the hours of 5am and 8.30pm to protect children. Similar restrictions also apply to online betting ads.

Banks and utilities ad growth

Although the growth in gambling advertising is huge, it is not the sector with the largest lifts in media spend.

Leading the pack are utilities, with advertising increasing by 51.4% to $40.7 million in the year to July.

This includes 83% growth in digital, 82% growth in outdoor and 1,241% growth in cinema.

Another advertising category with huge growth is domestic banks, which grew by 31% to $174 million. This included strong lifts in cinema (up 268%), outdoor (up 61%), radio and TV (both up 33%).

“The spotlight on the banking sector from the Royal Commission has resulted in a significant increase in marketing spend from all banks, and that’s continuing,” Ratcliffe explained. “I’d assume negativity around increasing energy costs would require them to present a `softer’ face to the public.”

gambling,banks,utilities ad spend SMI.png

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus