Tabcorp Admits Mistake as Gambling Ads Play in AFL Match

Tabcorp, the Australian gambling operator, displayed gaming advertisements that were seen over 70 times in the broadcast of the opening round of Australian Football League (AFL) matches between Brisbane and Carlton at the Gabba stadium.

The operator did not break the rules, which state that advertisements for gaming operators cannot be broadcast during AFL matches.

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However gaming operators are permitted to advertise on signage that can be seen during a live broadcast of an AFL match, and this is the advertisement used by Tabcorp during the game. Supporters of banning gambling adverts claim this is nothing more than a loophole and are pressing regulators to change the legislation.

Tabcorp acknowledged it had broken its internal guidelines, which are the company will not advertise between the hours of 6.30 am and 8.30 pm, and these adverts were shown during the match in error. The gaming operator was a pain to point out that its own rules are more stringent than the legislation the betting company is required to adhere to.

Related: Tabcorp Fined by NSW over Advert Regulation Breaches

Our position on in-stadium advertising is the same as our position on free-to-air television advertising – we don’t advertise before 8.30 pm and have not done so since an error was made in Round 1. We know the community is over it and it’s the right thing to do.


More Regulation News

Some AFL Clubs Have Already Banned Gambling Ads

Some clubs in the AFL have already decided to have no part in gambling advertisements, with the Geelong Cats the first club in Australia to ban gaming adverts first its home matches five years ago. Since then, Sydney Swans took a similar stand in 2021.

Additionally, all the AFL clubs in the state of Victoria have decided to collectively decline any gambling sponsorships:

It’s disappointing and frustrating; fans had clearly said that they want gambling ads significantly reduced, if not abolished, on grounds, on TV, on the radio, on social media – and they are concerned we are normalizing gambling.

Ron IsskoPresident of AFL Fan Association

Some Gambling Advertisement Regulation Expected

Labor MP Peta Murphy first proposed a ban on gaming operators from advertising on media platforms during sports matches, with the ban to be phased in over three years. So far, the government has still not responded to the calls for a ban on gambling advertising.

Ministers have stated there will probably not be a blanket ban on gambling advertisements in the Australian region but have given an indication that some regulatory framework regarding gambling ads in the industry is likely to be introduced at some point. This will give gaming operators in the country clarity within the industry.


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