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Gambling advertising restrictions

Gambling advertising is a key concern of the community. While advertising more broadly is a matter for the Commonwealth, the NSW Government has recently strengthened its restrictions on gambling advertising in response to these concerns.

NSW has the toughest gambling advertising restrictions and associated penalties in Australia. These restrictions are focused on, but not limited to, inducements to gamble. This approach aims to reduce the significant gambling-related harms that may be caused by gambling inducements.

What cannot be advertised

It is an offence to publish or communicate any inducement to participate, or to participate frequently, in any gambling activity. This includes an inducement to open a betting account. Gambling advertising that contains a disclaimer that the inducement is not available to NSW residents can still be in breach of the law.

  • A maximum penalty of $55,000 applies to any corporation and $5,500 for individuals who publish prohibited gambling advertising, including betting service providers, broadcasters, commentators or others.
  • Directors and other corporate officers of betting service providers may be held liable for any breaches of the gambling advertising restrictions.

These restrictions are focused on betting service providers who are expected to ensure that their advertisements comply with the law. However, an offence may be committed by a broadcaster if they continue to publish an offending advertisement after being notified by Liquor & Gaming NSW that a publication may breach the law.

L&GNSW has prepared guidelines to assist betting service operators comply with these laws.

Read the guidelines: GL4015 Gambling advertising and inducements (PDF 142.2 KB)

Gambling advertising during sporting events

In addition to the above restrictions, it is an offence to publish gambling advertising that relate to a particular sporting event or fixture that is in progress in NSW. This includes live odds and in-play betting services.

Advertising live odds and in-play betting services may encourage concerning gambling behaviours such as more continuous betting or betting on impulse. These restrictions are focused on reducing the potential impact of these advertisements on the community.

Commonwealth Government restrictions on gambling advertising

The Commonwealth Government is responsible for regulating broadcast and online advertising. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is the Commonwealth regulator responsible for overseeing commercial advertising, including advertising for betting service providers.

The Commonwealth Government recently strengthened restrictions on gambling advertising during children’s viewing hours. Gambling advertising or promotion of odds is no longer permitted during live sports broadcasts between 5.00am and 8.30pm. This includes online streaming of sporting events. These rules are intended to limit children’s exposure to gambling advertisements.

More details about the rules and exemptions are available on the ACMA website.

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