The ASB has been asked to take part in a panel on gambling advertising as part of the eGaming Review (EGR) Australia Power Summit 2014. The ASB appreciates the opportunity to speak to Australian online betting executives about responsible advertising, and the Codes and regulations around advertising in Australia.
Gambling operators, like any other industry, have the right to advertise their products. However just like every other industry their advertisements cannot breach the Australian Association of National Advertisers Code of Ethics. In particular they cannot advertise in a way that breaches section 2.6 of the Code which states that Advertising and marketing communications shall not depict material contrary to prevailing community standards on health and safety.
This is the part of the code that the Advertising Standards Board will look at when the ASB receives complaints about gambling advertisements. While the Board cannot look at the placement or frequency of advertisements, they can look at the messages shown in the advertisement. The Board has found that any advertisement that encourages excessive gambling, or that may make gambling attractive to children, will be found to breach the Code on the grounds that it goes against the prevailing community standards around what constitutes safe gambling.
The ASB will look at any gambling advertisement that receives a complaint, including online, in an app or on social media. So it is important for advertisers to consider whether their advertisement breaches the Code in all forms of advertising. In addition to the Code, additional restrictions on gambling advertising exist for television and radio broadcast.
In recent years there has been growing community concern over gambling advertising, particularly during sporting events. In response to this concern, and to deflect calls for direct Government regulation, the broadcasting industry reacted with the FreeTV, The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association and Commercial Radio Australia Codes of Practice have imposed limitations on discussing gambling odds during commentary. Under these codes gambling advertisements must also be clearly identified as such.