Radio to turn off gambling ads during live sports

Rosie Baker
By Rosie Baker | 6 November 2017

Gambling and betting ads could be axed from live sports broadcast on radio during daytime hours following a review process launching today.

Commercial Radio Australia is reviewing its code on gambling and betting odds in on-air ads and a draft proposal would implement a ban on advertising gambling between 5.00am and 8.30pm from 5 minutes before to 5 minutes after the live event.

Outside of these times, gambling advertising would only be allowed during breaks in play.

The full CRA code was reviewed earlier this year and the changes would be in addition to existing rules around gambling ads during live sport on radio.

Comments and responses to the proposal are welcome until 15 December, with the new rules to come into play from 18 March.

“The commercial radio industry continues to monitor and respond to community safeguards and is committed to providing quality radio in line with the Australian listening public’s needs,” says Joan Warner, CEO of Commercial Radio Australia.

Sports betting has increasingly come under fire with concerns that children and vulnerable young men are being exposed to a practice that can be damaging, normalising betting in sport and grooming the next generation of problem gamblers.

Read: Our feature on sports betting and gambling advertising: Place your bets 

It has been one of the fastest growing categories of advertising in recent years, according to SMI data. Between 2011 and 2015, it increased from $91 million to $236 million - an increase of 160%.

In April, AdNews revealed sports betting firms had spent $135m on advertising in the previous 12 months.

The TV industry has also faced bans on sports betting advertising, with the Federal Government mooting a blanket ban earlier this year. 

Just last week Neds pulled a TV campaign that attracted more than 60 complaints to the Advertising Standards Board that it promoted “excessive” wagering.

Speaking on 3AW over the weekend, former youth governor of Victoria Amanda Gailiss called for a total ban on gambling advertising, and said it should be treated like smoking.

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