The Australian Football League (AFL) has instituted a media ban on those media companies that are accredited with the Aussie Rules competition. The media betting restrictions for AFL matches and events will be confined to specific time periods on the game days.
Reasons for the AFL Accredited Media Ban
There have been a number of concerns expressed recently that members of the media have access to sensitive information regarding injuries, team selections, and tactics that teams plan to use. This information could be used to place various wagers, or to better predict the outcome of matches.
In order to prevent the misuse of the information that the media has access to, and to ensure that the information is only used for sports news reporting, the AFL made the decision to introduce the media restrictions. The restrictions will ensure that the game's integrity is not tainted by the possibility of members of the media using the information for their own purposes.
The AFL has announced that the new restrictions on accredited media will be in place for the 2016 season. The restriction is not a general ban on all accredited media, but rather a ban on those that are "working or present" at the football grounds.
The ban is set to be in place for two hours before a match begins, and continues throughout the duration of the match. During this time, the media representatives that are present will not be allowed or able to place best on AFL games.
The AFL decided on the two-hour time period, along with the time in which the game is played, because the organisation believes that this time period is the time in which it is most likely that privileged and sensitive information is could to be revealed.
The new measures to restrict accredited media from placing bets during this time will free up the AFL from the need to assess any bets that were placed by media personnel during the restricted time. There will be more than 1,000 AFL individuals who will be affected by the ban. Those affected will include journalists, TV reporters, cameramen, photographers, radio reporters, and various production staff members.
Previous Suspicions Regarding Betting and the AFL
David King, an AFL commentator who formerly played for North Melbourne, was investigated when he placed a bet in 2014 that Brisbane Lion Lewis Taylor would win the Rising Star award. He had placed two bets at Sportsbet, one of $350 and another of $500, ultimately profiting by $2,975 when Taylor won the award by one vote. Although no criminal charges were filed, the AFL Integrity Unit was informed.