“It’s high time we looked seriously at the many ways in which children are being groomed for betting and gambling” says Prof Elizabeth Handsley, President of the Australian Council on Children and the Media .

Children who watch sport on TV, particularly at weekends,  alone or with their families, will see many betting ads.  They may also encounter them in movies they see in the early evening hours. The rules governing when such ads could be encountered make it difficult for parents to effectively protect their children.

Prof Handsley noted that the Nine Network has today been found to have contravened the rules by screening commercials in the PG movie The Spiderwick Chronicles, which “encouraged viewers to use an online betting platform to stake money on the outcome of the 2016 AFL Grand Final and the player who would score the first goal in that match. Since the [Free TV] code came into effect in December 2015, these types of commercials cannot be broadcast in programs principally directed to children, regardless of their classification.”

Prof Handsley said, “ACCM is also very concerned about apps which are popular with children, some of which involve children being exposed to simulated gambling behaviour. With funding from the SA Government, ACCM reviews a large number of apps which children play and has added those that include elements of gambling to the Children and Gambling Watch List.  Recently ACCM has reviewed several sporting related apps and found that some of them, including the Cricket Live and AFL Live app, make it very easy for children to link to gambling sites.

She said “with this background, ACCM supports the call by SA Minister for Consumer and Business Services, John Rau, for the Commonwealth to increase its efforts to take more effective measures to limit children’s exposure to gambling promotion, especially the prohibition of advertising of online gambling before, during and after the broadcasting of sporting events by TV, radio, or on any web enabled device.”

ABOUT ACCM: is the peak national community organisation advocating for healthy use of media, and more effective protections for children.  www.childrenandmedia.org.au

Resources and further reading

ACCM app review service and Watchlist:



ACMA’s release about Nine ads for gambling:


SA Min, John Rau’s media release:


Photo Source: Flickr Images