ASTRA bans gambling ads during daytime sport coverage

The Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) is to introduce rules which will see all gambling ads banned during live sport coverage between 5am and 8.30pm.

ASTRA’s new rules, which will come into effect on March 30, mean no gambling ads will be allowed to air five minutes before or after the game, during game play or scheduled and unscheduled breaks during the game.

Gambling commercials will still be able to air at all other times with the pre-existing gambling advertising rules.

The new rules were developed with the industry and approved by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

However, the ASTRA Code says sports channels with an audience share of below 0.5% will be exempt from the new rules.

The exemption to the rule will not apply to any Fox Sports channel or to any nationally significant events.

After the new rules came out, Commercial Radio Australia expressed concerns for an “uneven playing field” with online media operators.

CRA said: “the industry has ongoing delays in imposing similar restrictions for online platforms”.

Joan Warner, CEO at CRA, said in a release: “The industry has taken community concerns about gambling on board and our members are implementing measures to ensure they comply with the new rules when they come into force on 30 March.

“We are concerned that similar restrictions for online platforms have not yet been put in place.

“In fact, the legislation that will underpin rules to be developed by the ACMA has not yet been passed by the Parliament. Even after the legislation is passed there will be a period of development by the ACMA and then a period of public consultation. This creates a real risk that gambling advertising will simply be shifted online for the time, possibly some months, during which no rules apply.”

In November last year, CRA began its consultations on draft provisions to ban advertising gambling during live sporting events.

One week later, Free TV also opened discussions on gambling ad restrictions during live sport.


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