Sportsbet's Spends Millions on Advertising Despite Potential Ban

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Over the last year and a half, Australia’s largest online sportsbook, Sportsbet, has spent more than three times as much as its rivals on television adverts shown during live sports and racing events.

The Australian Financial Review obtained confidential data showing that Sportsbet spent AU$ 64 million on TV adverts, far more than both Tabcorp and Ladbrokes.

Spending Increases and Concerns

An Australian parliamentary inquiry recently recommended the implementation of a phased prohibition on gambling adverts across television, radio, and social media. Broadcasters have raised concerns about the newest gaming regulation, fearing it will result in the loss of revenues currently contributed by bookmakers and sports organizations.

Nielsen has put together data showing that Tabcorp has spent just AU$ 5 million since the government began its online gambling inquiry in mid-October. Other operators have also reduced their spending on networks such as Nine Network, Seven Network, and Network Ten.

The ban could also be a problem for sportsbooks, including Sportsbet, Ladbrokes and Neds. Social media and television are the primary channels where they advertise, and a ban could significantly affect brand awareness.

Seasonal Spending on Advertising

Nielsen’s data also revealed how spending changes according to the events taking place. Sportsbet’s adverts were mainly shown during the AFL and NRL seasons with the company their official partner. Between March and September, more than AU$ 32 million was spent on adverts.

While Tabcorp was reducing its spending, Sportsbet spent AUD16.8 million between September and November 2022 during the spring racing carnival, more than Tabcorp spent across an 18-month period. This aligns with a promise from the Tabcorp CEO to stop all free-to-air television advertising during the day by 2024.

Barni Evans, Sportsbet’s CEO, has given his support to a number of the recommendations made by the inquiry but believes that a complete ban on advertising is too extreme. Rather, he believes that there should be a reduction in the number of adverts shown.