Wednesday 20. July, 2016

Gambling Reform Alliance Pushing to Ban Sports Betting Advertising

The Alliance for Gambling Reform, together with independent crossbenchers and anti-gambling activists, Nick Xenophon and Andrew Wilkie, are pushing for a ban on sport betting advertising. At the same time, they are planning to protect television networks from any financial impact the ban will have.

The plan is being formulated to assuage any concerns the networks have over the threat to their $120 million source of revenue.

“The alliance supports a gradual phase out of sports betting advertising that won’t impact on the networks,” stated Rohan Wenn, director of strategy for the Alliance of Gambling Reform.

“This would most likely involve a dollar for dollar reduction in commercial TV licenses. So, for every gambling dollar a network stops taking, their commercial TV license fee to the Commonwealth Government would go down a dollar.”

“This would make the phase-out cost neutral for the networks and if treasury felt the need to make up any shortfall they could simply levy the gambling companies that we all loathe so much. Ultimately, the gambling companies created this mess, so they should pay to clean it up. The taxpayers, and the networks should not be hurt by these important public health reforms.”

The alliance has become concerned particularly about the impact that sports betting advertising has on children as the current legislation allows gambling ads to be aired during G-rated timeslots if it is during a sports broadcast.

Sports betting advertisements will be the first focus of the alliance; however they plan to target pokies as well. Wenn stated that poker machines make up around 75 percent of gambling harm, making them the most detrimental form of gambling in Australia. Among the reforms they will seek will be a $1 maximum bet on poker machines.

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