Oz Government Plans Gambling Advertising Cuts

Changes to Betting Ads in Australia Expected

Aussie sporting bodies strongly oppose proposed legislation.

Australia's federal government could bring about new laws this week that could affect betting advertising. However, national sporting leagues have come out strongly against the new legislation, saying that Australian sports will be harmed by the move.

Australia's Communications Minister, Mitch Fifeld, goes to Cabinet this week, hoping to garner enough support for his proposal to ban gambling advertising during live sporting events.

The ban will be "siren to siren", meaning from the starting whistle to the end whistle of any game.

If all goes according to plan, Fifeld will receive Cabinet's approval and the measures could be introduced as early as next week.

Sporting Codes Oppose New Laws

As expected, sporting bodies in Australia have come up in arms against the government's new proposal, calling it shortsighted and not thought out enough.

The Australian quotes a "senior source at a major sporting body" who believes that the move will drive punters to overseas websites and will result in no reduction in gambling, only a reduction in taxation to state and federal governments.

"It also has the potential to rob sports of product fees," says the source, referring to the commission that sporting codes make on each bet wagered on their particular sport with Australian betting agencies.

Detrimental Affect on Media Rights

The issue of media rights was also brought up when discussing why the government's proposal is not a good idea for Australian sport.

The executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, Malcolm Speed said that the group does not support a ban on sports betting advertising "on the basis that it is likely to impact on media rights deals or the value of media rights, which is the sports' greatest asset."

Speed pointed out that Australia sports operate in a highly regulated system, where limits are placed on sports betting advertising. He said that sports have, until now, co-operated with broadcasters and the government to ban live odds during matches.

"Any restriction or prohibition will inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programs, and grassroots development," he said.