The Australian Association of National Advertisers has released a self-regulatory communication code in relation to wagering advertising and marketing that will cover Australian licensed wagering operators, such as TABs and online bookmakers (often referred to in public discussion as sports betting companies).
Key points of the code and accompanying statement include:
- a restriction on advertising 'primarily' to minors, which explicitly cautions against the use of cartoon or superhero characters
- not depicting people aged 18–24 years old placing bets
- not showing bets being placed in combination with the consumption of alcohol. This does not preclude the ad being set in a place where alcohol is present or being consumed, nor an alcohol brand being visible or a co-sponsor of the ad
- not portraying betting as a way of relieving financial or personal difficulties or winning money
- not stating or implying sexual success or enhanced attractiveness from betting
- not condoning or encouraging excessive participation in betting. This does not preclude betting being depicted as a regular or routine pursuit, such as each weekend during the football season.
The code makes no specific reference to advertising on the internet and social media but does state it covers "any material published or broadcast in any medium or any activity undertaken by, or on behalf of, an advertiser or marketer".
As a self-regulatory system, the code allows for complaints. These can be heard by the Advertising Standards Bureau, which may make a determination against the advertiser. There is no indication this would create an enforceable penalty.
There is currently no specific federal government regulation of wagering advertising. There are rules about advertising of wagering in Victoria contained in section 4.7.8 of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.