Tabcorp says new AANA gambling ad self regulation code is not good enough

A new self-regulatory code overseeing how wagering and gaming companies go to market has been dismissed as pointless by one of Australia's biggest wagering companies.

TAB Golden Ticket ambassador Billy Brownless (CREDIT: David McArthur)

TAB Golden Ticket ambassador Billy Brownless (CREDIT: David McArthur)

A new self-regulatory code overseeing how wagering and gaming companies go to market has been dismissed as pointless by one of Australia’s biggest wagering companies.

Tabcorp has questioned the relevance of the code, announced this week by the Australian Association of National Advertisers, saying it was not a replacement for a clearly defined national legal and regulatory framework.

The AANA has been working on the code for several months, saying it had received input from a wide range of industry stakeholders including government, wagering companies, media and academics.

One of its main points is to prevent bookies creating marketing aimed at children.

AANA chair Matt Tapper said the new code would provide a robust self-regulatory framework for the industry and a channel for the public to raise concerns.

New gambling ad code under fire

New gambling ad code under fire

“The new code responds to community expectations that are specific to the content of wagering advertising and provides the public with a transparent and easily accessible complaints procedure via the single point of the Advertising Standards Bureau,” Tapper said.

However, the code is already under a cloud with questions as to whether wagering companies subject to complaints heard by the ASB would be bound by rulings.

Tabcorp, parent of TAB, Luxbet and, Keno, told Mumbrella while there were concerns about the way in which some companies were marketing, the new code would have little or no impact.

“We are sympathetic to concerns about the proliferation of wagering advertising and recognise that the excessive levels of advertising are in nobody’s interest,” A Tabcorp spokesman said.

“Our position is that wagering advertising is best dealt with through a national and consistently applied legal and regulatory framework, rather than through a self-regulated code, which does not have broad endorsement.”

The company said that even since work on the AANA code had first begun, there had been changes in state legislation that had already altered the landscape, but that a national code with legal backing was needed rather than one that could be easily ignored by companies wanting to flout the rules

“Since the idea for the code was first proposed, the landscape has changed with the NSW government toughening its stance on inducements and live odds advertising,” the spokesperson said.

“The Federal Government has also made it clear that online ‘in play’ betting on sport is illegal. Despite that some wagering operators are not complying. This sort of behaviour raises questions about whether the code will be adhered to in any case.”

The AANA code includes specific rules against marketing to minors, showing people placing bets while drinking alcohol, suggest or imply the promise of winning or condone or encourage participation as a way to relieve financial woes.

Simon Canning


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