ACMA Instructs Operators To Comply With Gambling Ad Rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has instructed all licenced operators nationally to comply with the advertisement rules for gambling.

The announcement comes after a range of contradictions in how many operators have perceived the current regulations were highlighted by the ACMA.

Introduced in 2018, the rules specify that gambling ads can not be seen between 5:00 am and 8:30 am during live sports on television, online and radio, with more lenient advertising limits in effect beyond this time.

By collecting information about the placement of gambling advertisements during live-streamed sports coverage, the ACMA monitored the Online Content Service Provider Laws, while also contacting online providers to obtain more information about their gambling advertising practises.

The ACMA found no major issues after reviewing the rules for 12 months, but noted a range of contradictions in how providers had interpreted the rules.

Those contradictions included problems with the use of exemptions, as well as with requirements for record keeping.

The former includes a problem laid down under the Broadcasting Service Act 1992, which makes it possible to exclude from the advertisement rules an identical online simulcast of a live sporting event.

The ACMA said: “The ACMA found this exemption is being widely used, and sometimes combined with an exemption for low audience share subscription television channels from the broadcasting codes of practice restrictions.

“As the size of online audiences for live sporting events continues to grow in Australia, it may be relevant to also consider the potential online audience share for live sporting events broadcast on TV, so that exemptions continue to apply as intended, where there are genuinely small audiences.”

In the meantime the problems with record-keeping standards include the types of records kept, which differ between individual providers.

The ACMA encouraged record keeping, but cautioned that such records would comply with the existing laws.