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TAB betting ad found to have breached advertising standards

Tue, Nov 22, 9:56am by Staff Writer

A Tabcorp ad has been found to have breached Australia’s Advertising Standards Bureau (ASB) code for displaying ‘excessive participation’ in gambling activities.

But Tabcorp has promised to appeal the ruling after the ASB said the ad has contravened Section 2.8 of the AANA Wagering Advertising and Marketing Communications Code, which says gambling marketing pitches ‘must not portray, condone or encourage excessive participation in wagering activities.’

The ad features a man who returns home from a fishing vacation with his friends, to be asked by his girlfriend how it went. He flashes back to the weekend in his mind, where he is shown studying the form on his phone, watching live racing and watching race replays. “Yeah… loved it.”

It is part of the TAB’s new ‘We love a Bet’ campaign which has coincided with the spring racing carnival.

The ASB received numerous complaints about the ad, which centred around it glorifying gambling and encouraging men to lie to their spouses.

“The ad implied that it would be “fun” and “sociable” to lie to your partner about gambling addiction. It glamorises gambling as a kind of pleasure that one could indulge in over a weekend, but come home unsuspected,” read one complaint.

“If someone had just such a need to get online for a whole weekend (as is implied by the ad), and then conceal that from their partner (as is implied by the ad), they would be suffering a serious gambling addiction.”

Tabcorp said the ad was intended to promote TAB’s new app and ‘in a lighthearted and humorous manner and to depict the enjoyment that many Australians derive from using the racing form and watching racing vision on their phone.’

WATCH: Judge the ad for yourself

The company said at no stage did it portray any of the characters actually gambling.

However, the ASB rejected that  contention saying that the characters in the ad could be ‘reasonably interpreted as being engaged in a wagering activity.’

But they did find that there was no proof that the man in the ad had lied to his spouse.

Tabcorp strongly disagreed that it has breached standards and will seek an independent review.

It has said that the ad isn’t currently airing on either free-to-air or pay-TV and the company won’t show it again until its independent review is concluded.

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