Proposed restrictions on gambling during broadcast (including online platforms) in Australia

On 6 May 2017 the Australian Government announced the Broadcast and Content Reform Package which, among other things, affects the current broadcasting regime that covers gambling advertising and promotions during live sports programmes.

The reform package includes a prohibition on gambling promotions from five minutes before the scheduled start of play in all live sports broadcasts to five minutes after the conclusion of play until 8:30 pm (after which the existing regime will apply). The restriction targets programmes aimed at an Australian audience, including commercial and subscription television (including SBS), commercial radio and online platforms. The current ban on promotion of live odds, the exemptions for racing and the advertising of lotteries will remain as is.

This reform has been introduced to reduce the exposure of children to gambling, but has been limited so as to not deprive free-to-air broadcasters of an important revenue stream.

The current package proposes consultation with industry stakeholders in the coming weeks on how the changes can best be implemented and expects platforms to have made the required changes in time for the planned commencement in March 2018. Online platforms have been carved out of this timeline and changes will be implemented as soon as practicable.

We will keep you updated on the details as they develop and if you would like further information on any of the proposed changes please contact the Australian team.