Odds and betting ads in live sport broadcasts — the rules | ACMA

Odds and betting ads in live sport broadcasts — the rules

Codes of practice have been registered about betting odds promotion and gambling advertising during live sports broadcasts on television and radio.

The registration of the codes means that you can complain to the broadcaster in the first instance if you think the codes have been breached.

To help you understand what is and is not allowed under the codes, the ACMA has prepared the table below, based on a typical live sporting television broadcast. There are some exemptions to the rules, which are listed after the table.

At all times during a live sporting event, representatives of gambling organisations must:

  • be clearly identified

  • not be part, or a guest, of the commentary team.

  • not be at or around the venue, or look as though they are at or around the venue.

As the table below demonstrates, more restrictions apply to the broadcast of a live sporting event between 5.00am and 8.30pm to provide extra protection for child audiences.

The general rules during coverage of a live sporting event such as an NRL game (with a published scheduled start of play and noting there are a range of exceptions which are summarised under the table):

 

Time period in the live broadcast

Not allowed

Allowed

Half an hour before play

  • Promotion of betting odds by commentators and guests not allowed

  • Promotion of betting odds by clearly identified gambling representatives allowed
  • Gambling ads allowed

From 5 minutes before scheduled start of play

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Sporting coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Only between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Promotion of betting odds by clearly identified gambling representatives allowed

  • Gambling ads allowed

First half of play

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed
  • Sporting coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Half-time (scheduled break)

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed

Between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed 

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Only between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Gambling ads allowed

Second half of play

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed
  • Sporting coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Unexpected delays, for example, due to weather (unscheduled break) and no other program is broadcast

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed

Between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm:

  • Coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Only between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Gambling ads allowed
 From end of play until 5 minutes after end of play  Between 5.00am – 8.30pm: 
  • Any promotion of betting odds by any person not allowed

  • Gambling ads not allowed

Between 5.00am – 8.30pm: 

  • Coverage without betting odds or gambling ads allowed

Only between 8.30pm – 5.00am:

  • Promotion of betting odds by clearly identified gambling representatives allowed
  • Gambling ads allowed
 Half an hour after play
  • Promotion of betting odds by commentators and guests not allowed
  • Promotion of betting odds by clearly identified gambling representatives allowed
  • Gambling ads allowed

Exemptions

The broadcasting codes provide a variety of exemptions:

  • broadcasts of horse, harness or greyhound racing
  • accidental and incidental references to gambling, for example, on-ground signage or players’ uniforms
  • advertisements or promotions for government lotteries, lotto, keno or contests
  • advertisements or promotions relating to entertainment or dining facilities where betting or gambling takes place, (so long as the content does not draw attention to the gambling or betting)
  • gambling advertisements or promotions in a live sporting broadcast originating outside Australia where:
  • the licensee has not inserted the advertisement or promotion
  • the licensee receives no consideration for the advertisement or consideration
  • it is not practicable for the licensee to remove the advertisement or promotion.

There are also limited exceptions to some rules:

  • in lengthy breaks during sporting events for example, tennis and golf tournaments, test cricket and multi-sport events where non-related programs are broadcast
  • for subscription television sports channels that have a low audience share.

The code restrictions do not apply to services that are:

  • delivered on a pay-per-view basis
  • an active choice by the viewer associated with a live sporting event, for example, an alternative commentary
  • subscription narrowcasting services provided exclusively to commercial premises licensed to serve alcohol or offer gambling or limited locations where children are not present, and not available for private or domestic use
  • subscription narrowcasting services intended only for adult audiences with technical age-gating access restrictions.

Last updated: 14 April 2019