Debate rages over gambling ad ban proposal

Reactions to reports of an imminent ban on live gambling ads have been swift from networks and sporting bodies.

Sporting groups are warning the laws would slash the value of the TV rights while networks are noting it could lead to events moving to online platforms which have limited regulation.

Seven said in a statement, β€œThe reported gambling advertising restrictions would have a significant impact on the future value of sporting rights for FTA broadcasters and as a result we are likely to see more of them migrating to unregulated platforms run by foreign multinationals.

“It is more important than ever that we support Australian industry which is why we urge the Government to act quickly on licence fee reductions for commercial television.”

The Australian reports some sports, especially the AFL, are now lobbying for ads to be allowed after 8.30pm, in line with adult viewing.

The Australian Financial Review reports Labor wants the government to go further than just a ‘siren to siren’ ban, rather it wants a ban during the entire sport broadcast, including pre match commentary.

“Parents should be able to sit down with their kids and enjoy the pre-match build-up, as well as the game, without the intrusion of betting odds and gambling ads during ad breaks or half-time,” Labor’s Shadow Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said.

Labor also supports tougher regulation on the explosion in online gambling.

The Greens are supportive of greater restrictions on gambling advertising, supporting an even stronger stance of a total advertising ban.

Fairfax notes new industry body Responsible Wagering Australia, headed by former Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, is in favour of limiting televised ads.

“RWA and its members recognise and appreciate there is growing public concern about the level of gambling advertising, in particular the level of gambling advertising that is seen by minors,” a spokeswoman said.

“We support government action to reduce the volume of wagering advertising, including during live sports telecasts.”

12 Comments:

  1. their must be something wrong with me cause when i watch sport and the bettings ads are on i dont feel the need to place a bet . should i seek medical advice . I would be more happy if they cut back on the stupid IQ lowering reality shows

  2. Nanny state much? Why do we want government to do our work for us? It is my duty as a parent to explain gambling in general and the dangers specifically to my kids. At the end of the day they will go out into the big wide world and do whatever they want to anyway but I still lay the foundation. As for me, I don’t gamble but find the odds they give interesting. It adds a little to the game and takes nothing away.

    • I don’t agree that it “adds a little”. The gradual degradation of sport viewing on TV over the past decade or so because of the linkage of sport to gambling has been sad. It feels like we are moving towards sport only existing for monetary value, instead of the thrill of physical challenge by teams or individuals.

  3. keyboard_warrior

    if TV is going have to cop these restrictions (which is fair though not to the proposed levels), then radio, outdoor, print and especially digital need to all be held to the same restrictions as well. who’s to say that a ladbrokes facebook ad seen by a teen who is scrolling through facebook waiting for the game to start has less of an impact than a tv commercial.

    • Pretty sure FB would not advertise betting agencies to under 18’s, they have very targeted adds. What would be the point, they can’t bet anyway?

      • I don’t know about FB, but the companies are very keen to target children, as they want to set gambling as something that adults normally do, and that gambling is an integral part of sport. These attitudes are exactly what we don’t want our kids to think.

        A recent study showed that many teens think that you can’t lose money gambling, purely from watching ads that state that if your team is losing you can “opt out” of your bet and get your money back. Disturbing.

      • Radio and print media is a lot worse. You’re dealing with an audience that believes Tony Abbott was Australia’s greatest prime minister and every time the temperature gets above 30 degrees it’s a CSIRO conspiracy so how hard is it going to be to get those people involved with short odds betting?

  4. The amount of Sportsbet ads during Seven’s AFL & Crownbet ads during Fox Footy’s AFL is still astronomical!

    Let alone the TAB, Ladbrokes, William Hill, etc. ads outside these telecasts.

    I am so concerned about our vulnerable Youth.

    Seven executives at Sydney HQ only care about all the bank notes rolling in πŸ˜‰

  5. I imagine similar arguments were put forward when it was no longer allowed to use cigarette companies to sponsor sporting events and all the codes and networks survived that. The live gambling ads within the sporting broadcast needs to go. It is sending such a dangerous message out to young people around normalising gambling habits.

    • Yep, it pretty much was the same when cigarette advertising was banned – doom & gloom, the death of both sport & radio/tv, etc, etc.

      In fact the situations were very similar – radio, tv, advertising, & sports industries weren’t sticking by the existing voluntary code, the government proposed a more restrictive code, radio/tv/sport claimed it would have “serious consequences” for them since many were “already operating at a loss”, and losing “in the order of $1 million” (1976 dollars!) & the ban “will exacerbate this situation and could be reflected in reduced service”.

      (quotes from documents at naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs252.aspx)

      Sound familiar? The only difference is the industry didn’t dare manipulate public opinion for their own ends; it was all done by directly communicating with government. And yes, I do read the National Archives for fun πŸ˜‰

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