SYDNEY: Online content properties in Australia will be subject to the same rules on gambling advertising as traditional broadcasters from the end of September 2018, under new regulation.

According to Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), the changes will see streaming properties - including e-sports - unable to promote gambling during live games between 5am and 8:30pm. A blackout period of 30 minutes pre and post-game will also apply – during this time, where commentators aren’t allowed to promote odds. Gambling representatives are also banned from appearing at specific venues during this period.

Online simulcast – an increasingly popular way to watch live sports – will be subject to some exemptions, provided the companies involve comply with existing TV broadcast regulations. If the online stream is not identical to the TV broadcast version, the new online regulations will apply.

“Online live sport provided by a broadcaster will be exempt from the online rules if the stream of content (including any advertising) is identical to the broadcast transmission and is provided simultaneously, or almost simultaneously, with the broadcast transmission,” said an ACMA representative in comments in Mumbrella.

“This exemption recognises that the broadcast transmission is subject to the relevant rules in the broadcasting codes of practice.”

Additional individual exemptions may be granted on a case by case basis, but overall the move stands as a statement of intent to even the playing field on gambling advertising in Australia.  The new rules will come into effect on 28 September 2018. The ACMA will closely monitor operation of the new rules and, after 12 months, will consider whether to conduct a formal review of their effectiveness.

 “This is the first time that online services streaming live sport have been required to comply with gambling advertising restrictions,” said Nerida O’Loughlin, chair of ACMA.  

“This brings online services in line with television and radio broadcasting services. It creates a safe zone for children and families to watch live sport across a variety of platforms.”

Sourced from ACMA, Mumbrella