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Gambling advertising revenue rises despite new restrictions

Fri, Oct 19, 11:02am by Staff Writer

There is growth in gambling advertising spending in Australia despite recently introduced laws that restrict when ads can be shown on television and radio.

The spend in Australia on gambling advertising has spiked 26 per cent to A$140 million in the year to July according to figures provided by Standard Media Index.

In March 2018, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) introduced new regulations relating to gambling advertising. At present, online casinos and betting platforms are unable to advertise on free-to-air television, pay television or on the radio between 5am and 8:30pm.

Australia is one of the most liberal countries in the world when it comes to gambling, with wagering extending beyond land-based casinos.

As many as 80 per cent of Australians participate in gambling in some form. There are poker machines in restaurants and bars across the country and a suite of online options for casino and sports wagering gamblers.

The biggest rise in advertising revenue has come from newspapers, which has seen a 121% rise year-on-year.

Despite advertising restrictions, there was still a modest growth in the television advertising sector of nearly 15 per cent.

Radio spend was up more than 43 per cent while outdoor gambling signage revenue improved by in excess of 60 per cent.

The rise in ad revenue may be attributed to a number of major sporting events that have taken place in 2018 such as June’s FIFA World Cup.

The director of Standard Media Index Jane Ratcliffe remarked that during the knockout stages of the FIFA World Cup in July, an increase in revenue of 30 per cent  was noted for that month alone.

WA TAB sale under fire

We reported last week that the West Australia TAB is set to be sold to Australian wagering giant Tabcorp in a deal worth up to $500 million to the WA Government.

There has been plenty of political to and fro regarding the sale since the news broke, with the current Premier of Western Australia Mark McGowan’s 2016 comments thrust into the spotlight.

The conjecture centres around the introduction of Keno, pokies machines and electronic horse racing into TABs or country pubs and clubs.

Electronic horse racing is called Trackside and allows punters to wager on simulated racing at TABs, as well as the real thing.

In 2016, McGowan was critical of the then Liberal government for planning to introduce Keno or Trackside, but his ministers had a different view just last Tuesday.

Current Racing and Gaming Minister Paul Papalia and Treasurer Ben Wyatt were not ruling out electronic racing machines such as Trackside.

They would be allowed in Western Australia to derive top dollar for the TAB sale according to the ministers.

The public sector union was also quick to criticise the Premier, stating that simulated racing products are only available at Crown’s Burswood casino.

“Its extension to other locations will have implications for the incidence of problem gambling in our State,” the union said.

McGowan was once staunchly opposed to selling off the WA TAB as it was important for jobs in the racing industry and regional communities, in 2015 stating that “jobs could very well be los. Actually, let us be frank. They will be lost if the TAB is sold.”

The WA TAB is estimated to be worth between $500 million – $1 billion dollars.

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