SBS, the hybrid-funded national broadcaster in Australia, has made the decision to introduce an ad blocking feature for gambling ads on its SBS On Demand platform. The new feature, announced at the 2024 Upfronts, will allow users to opt out of seeing gambling, alcohol, and quick-service restaurant ads. This initiative has received support from Australian gambling giant Tabcorp, with SBS Managing Director James Taylor emphasizing the company’s commitment to responsible advertising.

In addition to SBS’s efforts, Australia has been expanding responsible gambling options for consumers. The BetStop national self-exclusion scheme, which launched in August, has already garnered over 100,000 registrations. This allows players to self-exclude from gambling for a minimum of three months or their lifetime. The initiative is part of the National Consumer Protection Framework, which also includes mandatory pre-verification requirements for operators.

The Australian government has also taken steps to ban the use of credit cards, credit-related products, and digital currencies for online wagering. Additionally, they have introduced evidence-based taglines to replace “Gamble Responsibly” and implemented nationally consistent training for staff in the gambling sector.

In light of these responsible gambling efforts, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) reported that over a million gambling adverts aired on Australian free-to-air television and metro radio in 2022-23. Licensed online gambling operators accounted for 50% of these adverts, with lotteries and lottos making up a significant portion as well.

The introduction of the ad blocking feature by SBS and the broader expansion of responsible gambling options in Australia reflect the ongoing efforts to promote responsible gambling and reduce the prevalence of gambling-related advertising in the country.

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