Free TV Says Further Gambling Advertising Restrictions Would Significantly Impact Revenue

March 19, 2024 | Advertising


Australia (March 19, 2024) — Further restrictions around gambling advertising would have significant impact on the revenue of free-to-air broadcasters, according to Free TV CEO Bridget Fair.

Fair told AdNews the revenue from gambling advertising currently funds the production of trusted news, live and free sport and local entertainment and drama programming.

“Free TV would expect the Government to consider measures to mitigate the impact of any advertising restrictions on commercial television broadcasters by removing unreasonable and outdated regulatory burdens on the industry including the Commercial Broadcast Tax, which is a significant cost that is not imposed on free to air broadcasters in any comparable international jurisdiction,” she said.

Research from the ACMA found that two-thirds (68%) of spend by gambling advertisers was on free-to-air TV markets ($133m on metro and $29m on regional) between May 2022 and April 2023.

A federal parliamentary committee last year released the findings of its inquiry into the harm posed by online gambling, including a recommendation of a phased ban over three years on advertising urging gamblers to place bets.

Bastion Experience QLD MD Rohan Sawyer predicted that on stage at AdNews’ 2023 Brisbane L!VE event that legislation restrictions will come into effect within the next two years, but believes it would be difficult for the government to stop wagering advertising completely.

“The industry is a large employer and wagering does generate significant revenues for the government which has a flow on effect to their investment in community sports,” Sawyer said.

“There’s a lot more work [for the government] to figure out how to phase this out. For example, there’d be contracts, particularly towards sponsorship, that go for the next three to five years – how does the compensation work with that?”

Morgan Stanley estimated $300 million was spent on gambling advertising in Australia in 2022, more than half of it on television.


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