SBS understands that some viewers may have concerns about advertisements for gambling services. The advertising of betting and gambling services is highly regulated in Australia, and SBS has in place a number of strict restrictions and safeguards regarding both the content and placement of these types of advertisements across all of its services – TV, radio and online.
In summary, these rules restrict commercials relating to betting and gambling which are broadcast during live sporting events on:
· SBS’s television and radio services – these are set out in the SBS Code of Practice (made by the SBS Board under the Special Broadcasting Service Act 1991 that can be enforced by the media regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA));
· SBS’s online services – these rules are set out in the Broadcasting Services (Online Content Service Provider Rules) 2018, a legal instrument made by, and enforceable by the ACMA;
· restrict advertising relating to betting and gambling on television services in programs classified G during certain hours, and in programs principally directed to children (a television industry standard which SBS adopts under the SBS Code of Practice).
These restrictions acknowledge that while gambling is a legal activity, it is appropriate to set boundaries within which these services may be advertised. There are enforcement consequences if SBS or other broadcasters do not comply with these rules.
SBS also requires all betting and gambling advertising to comply with the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Wagering Advertising Code. The objective of this code is to ensure that advertisers develop and maintain a high sense of social responsibility in the way they advertise wagering products in Australia (for example, not depicting young people in any advertising).
A summary of these regulations and standards is provided on the media regulator’s website at https://www.acma.gov.au/rules-gambling-ads and the Ad Standards website, at https://adstandards.com.au/issues/gambling-advertising.
In addition to these safeguards, SBS takes a responsible approach to managing the placement of advertisements more generally for products that have the potential to have a harmful effect on members of the community due to other circumstances of vulnerability.
SBS also addresses social issues such as problem gambling in its editorial coverage on programs such as Insight. In this way, SBS balances its role of examining issues of public interest, while also ensuring that its advertising activity complies with restrictions that seek to minimise harm.