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ACMA Report Confirms Gambling Advertising in Australia has Reached Epidemic Proportions

CVA is appalled by the results of the recent research released today on gambling advertising in Australia. The research by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) provides a snapshot of the volume and spending of gambling advertising in Australia between May 2022 and April 2023.

It is now a proven fact that gambling is a common form of entertainment in Australia, with around 73% of Australian adults gambling at least once in the 12 months from July 2021 to July 2022. Free-to-air TV is the market with the greatest ad spend.

“However, gambling can also have severe and lasting negative financial and social impacts on some individuals and their families resulting in suicide, family break-ups, and addiction,” said Greg Bondar, National Director of CVA.

Over the 12 months between May 2022 and April 2023, over 1 million gambling advertising spots aired nationally on free-to-air TV (metro and regional markets) and radio (in metro markets only).

“This research is a useful contribution to the broader debate on continued gambling policy and/or regulatory reform. This research is most useful to urge for broader government considerations of potential gambling reforms and, for industry to consider a revision of its codes of practice, particularly radio,” added Greg Bondar.

Gambling levels in Australia dropped during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but are now returning to pre-pandemic levels, substantiated by a new study from The Australian National University (ANU) released in June.

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“Ads by online gambling providers are the most prolific of all gambling ads reinforcing CVA’s continued call on the government to continue to implement reforms in gambling and urges the industry to revise its codes of practice which are nothing more than a lame duck,” added Bondar.

Key findings by ACMA:

  • Over 1 million gambling ads aired on free-to-air TV (metro and regional) and metro radio, with 50% (502,800 spots) from gambling providers offering online gambling services 
  • 51% (256,200 spots) of the total gambling ads on metro free-to-air TV were ads by online gambling providers.
  • 58% (196,400 spots) of the total gambling ads on regional free-to-air TV were by online gambling providers.
  • $238.63 million was spent on gambling advertising on free-to-air TV, metro radio, and online (including social media) between May 2022 and April 2023. 
  • Compared with all gambling advertisers, online gambling providers spent the most on free-to-air TV, metro radio, and online (including social media) advertising by far, with 64% of the total.
  • 68% was spent in free-to-air TV markets ($133m on metro and $29m on regional), 15% was spent on social media ($34.6m), 9% in metro radio markets ($22.4m) and 8% on other online platforms (websites and apps) ($19.5m).
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson
Chris Thompson is an international writer with expertise in politics, business and public affairs.

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