Australian Online Gambling Ad Ban Extended

Mia Gardner | 31 Aug 2018

Oz Ban ExtendedAustralian gambling operators will soon be facing far stricter rules regarding advertising after the nation’s foremost media regulator revealed plans to extend the current ban on betting ads during live sporting events to cover streaming platforms as well.

Earlier this week, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) officially announced the developments to the general public. The ban will seemingly now apply to all sports events that are streamed live between the hours of 5am and 8:30pm daily. Furthermore, the amended rules also state that gambling adverts must be restricted at all other times outside of the specified period.

Laws to Take Effect in September

It was back in July when the ACMA first revealed its proposal to add streaming platforms to the list of restricted platforms outlined in March. The proposals laid out by the authority have outright banned gambling ads during daytime sports broadcasts across all Australian television channels, leaving operators to pick up the pieces after losing one of their most valuable marketing platforms.

The authority also welcomed contributions with regards to the proposed changes until July 26, at which point the new laws were finalised. The ACMA, which drafted the amendments according to the Australian Government’s policies on harsher ad restrictions for the gambling industry, has noted that the new set of laws will be taking effect from September 28, 2018 onwards.

12 Month Review Period in Session

According to ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin, this marks the first time that online live sports streaming services have been required to adhere to advert restrictions. She stated that this brings such online services in line with radio and television channels, creating what she called a ‘safe zone’ for children and families to enjoy live sports across numerous popular platforms.

Under the first set of regulations, the ban did not apply to ‘low-audience’ sports channels that had traffic rates under 100,000 viewers per month. With that said, a regulatory spokesperson recently revealed that the ACMA will no longer allow this class to be exempt from its small online content service provider category.

Apparently, the regulator now intends to monitor the success of its new laws over the following 12-month period, after which it will decide whether or not to launch an official review of its new approach.

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