In the 2022-23 period, the number of gambling TV and radio advertisements in Australia exceeded one million.
In the 12 months ending on April 30, 2023, Australian free-to-air television and metro radio aired over one million gambling advertisements, with approximately 50% of them promoting online operators.
According to the report published by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which utilizes Nielsen Advertising intel data, approximately 50% (502,800) of the advertisements that appeared on free-to-air television and metro radio in Australia between May 2022 and April 2023 were from licensed online gambling operators.
Online gambling advertisements accounted for 51% (256,000) of all metro free-to-air TV ads. Lotteries comprised 20% (99,500) of metro TV adverts, while lottos made up 17% (84,000). The remaining advertisements were dedicated to services related to on-premises gambling and horse, harness, and greyhound racing.
In regional TV, 34% of gambling advertisements were observed, with online gambling comprising 58% (196,400) of those ads. Additionally, 16% of the advertisements were related to lotteries, raffles, and instant lotteries (52,600), while 15% were dedicated to lotto (49,600).
In terms of metro radio, 16% of gambling advertisements were featured on these platforms. Online gambling adverts constituted 31% (50,200) of all advertisements during the specified period. Other services advertised included lotteries, raffles, and instant lotteries, as well as horse, harness, and greyhound racing, along with on-site gambling.
The total expenditure on gambling advertising reaches AU$238.6 million.
During the 12 months, the total expenditure on gambling advertisements amounted to AU$238.6 million (£124.6 million/€143.7 million/US$151.4 million). Online operators accounted for 64% of the total spending. Lotteries, raffles, and instant lotteries represented 12% of the expenditure, while on-site gambling accounted for 9%. Lotto accounted for 8% of the spending, followed by horse, harness, and greyhound racing at 3%, and other forms of gambling at 4%.
Metro TV emerged as the most favored platform, capturing 56% ($133.0 million) of the total expenditure. Social media followed with 15% ($34.6 million), while regional TV accounted for 12% ($29.0 million), and metro radio accounted for 9% ($22.4 million). An additional $19.5 million was allocated to general display advertisements, including those on websites and apps.
Television advertisements tend to air during the later hours of the day.
In both metro and regional TV, advertisements were found to have a similar pattern in terms of timing. A notable peak occurred between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m., with 41,300 advertisements on metro TV and 35,800 on regional TV. This trend can be attributed to Australian laws that restrict gambling ads during live sports broadcasts between 5 a.m. and 8:30 p.m. The same regulations also apply to radio and streaming services.
Metro radio witnessed an earlier peak time for gambling adverts, with approximately 12,100 ads being broadcasted around 6 p.m. Additionally, there was a smaller peak during the morning hours between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., coinciding with the daily commute to work.
Similarly, online gambling adverts on regional TV followed a similar pattern, reaching a peak of 25,200 around 10 p.m. On metro TV, the peak occurred at 9 p.m. with 24,000 adverts. Metro radio experienced a peak of 5,100 adverts at 6 p.m.
According to ACMA, the research conducted does not encompass other advertising mediums like print, billboards, and cinemas.
ACMA acknowledges that gambling is a prevalent form of entertainment in Australia, with approximately 73% of Australian adults engaging in gambling activities at least once between July 2021 and July 2022. However, it is important to recognize that gambling can have significant and long-lasting adverse effects on individuals and their families, including negative financial and social impacts.
“In light of the current increased attention on the influence of gambling advertising, particularly evident in the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs inquiry, we view this research as a valuable addition to the wider discussion surrounding potential policy or regulatory changes in this domain.”