Australian Government Considering Slashing Number of Gambling Ads
The Australian government is looking likely to introduce laws that will reduce the number of gambling ads allowed to be broadcast during televised sporting events; however television broadcasters are resisting the push.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Turnbull government is considering the law to reduce TV gambling ads during sporting events in an effort to secure votes from South Australian senator and anti-gambling advocate Nick Xenophon that will support the deregulation of media ownership laws.
Currently, gambling ads are banned during children’s viewing hours, but are unlimited during the broadcast of sporting events. The country’s largest gambling companies are supporting the latest initiative; however TV broadcasters are resisting, saying that the only winners will be the overseas-owned Google and Facebook.
Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), which is a new industry group backed by online bookmakers including Bet365, Betfair, Crownbet, Sportsbet and Unibet, is also supporting the potential new laws.
“RWA welcomes government consultation with the wagering industry, community groups, sporting organisations and broadcasters to achieve meaningful reductions in wagering advertising,” stated Stephen Conroy, former Labor senator and new chief executive of the lobby group.
However, Paul Anderson, chief executive of Ten Network said that these laws would unfairly target the television networks.
“Sports betting advertising is plastered on buses and around sporting grounds and it is all over the Internet, including on Facebook and Instagram,” he said.
According to Anderson, the laws will not prevent gambling advertising, but will rather simply drive it onto other platforms, while free-to-air television has tighter controls than other media platforms. According to Seven Network chief Tim Worner, these additional restrictions on the industry will make it difficult for them to provide free footy coverage, which is “what Australians want and what they expect.”
March 23, 2017