Gambling advertisers spent $238.63 million on ads aired on free-to-air TV, metro radio, and online (including social media) between May 2022 and April 2023 in Australia, a new Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) report has revealed.
Using Nielsen Ad intel data, the research found that more than one million gambling ads aired on free-to-air TV and metro radio in this time.
These results come at the same time as gambling advertisers are under intensified scrutiny over broadcasting practices. The AFL was recently criticised for promoting bets that had an 85 percent loss rate, and a parliamentary report released earlier this year recommended comprehensively banning gambling ads within three years.
Australians lose $25 billion on legal forms of gambling every year – the most in the world per capita. Around 73 percent of Australian adults gambled at least once in the 12 months from July 2021 to July 2022. Online gambling is an increasingly dominant gambling subset, with Australians losing the most money to online gambling, per capita, in the world.
Online gambling advertising on the rise
Australians are participating in online gambling at a growing rate, increasing from 12.6 percent in 2010 to 30.7 percent in 2019.
This is reflected in the report’s findings on online gambling advertising: of the one million gambling ads aired on free-to-air TV and metro radio, 50 percent (502,800 spots) were from gambling providers offering online gambling services.
Over half (51 percent) of total gambling ads on free-to-air TV (256,200 spots) were by online gambling providers, rising to 58 percent for regional free-to-air TV (196,400 spots).
Compared with all gambling advertisers, providers of online gambling services also spent the most on free-to-air TV with 64 percent of the total. The next closest advertiser type is lotteries and raffles, which represents a smaller 12 percent of total gambling ad spend.
Gambling ads target key markets and time slots
Most advertising spend is targeted toward free-to-air TV markets, which command 68 percent of the total ($133 million on metro and $29 million on regional).
Social media was the next biggest contributor at 15 percent ($34.6 million), followed by metro radio markets at nine percent (22.4 million) and then general display (websites and apps) at eight percent (19.5 million).
ACMA’s report also used Nielsen Ad intel data to plot when gambling ad spots were aired by time of day.
Almost a quarter of all ads aired between 7pm and 10pm, with the highest number of ads airing between 9pm and 10pm in both metro (41,300) and regional (35,800) TV markets.
For metro radio, gambling spots were concentrated during morning and evening commute times. Between 6am and 8am 27,200 ads were aired, and between 5pm and 6pm there were 16,300.
The full report released by ACMA can be viewed here.