May 24, 2013

The proposals to limit (but not ban) sports betting ads

There are at least five proposals to limit TV advertising on sports betting -- but none of them will ban Tom Waterhouse completely, writes Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash's School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine.

If you’re sick of Tom Waterhouse and his ilk, you’re not alone. Sports betting, or more accurately the advertising of it, has created a furore. There are now at least five proposals afoot to limit some or all aspects of sports betting advertising — not including Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s promise to stop live odds if he becomes prime minister.

Free TV Australia has prepared a code of conduct around sports betting advertising, which would limit the spruiking of live odds to designated breaks in play and stop announcers and commentators from spruiking odds. This is now reportedly with the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This is Communications Minister Stephen Conroy’s preferred way of dealing with the issue, although it would only stop the spruiking of live odds. The ads would continue unabated.

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2 thoughts on “The proposals to limit (but not ban) sports betting ads

  1. klewso

    Anyone else puzzled at the potential for contradiction of Abbott’s popular public prancing about those ads : and Cormac Barry from Sportsbet on 4 Corners the other night looking forward so, to the new Abbott government and the probable introduction of “in play” betting :-
    MARIAN WILKINSON: Do you think you’ll eventually get that ban lifted in Australia?

    CORMAC BARRY: I think at some point it’ll happen, um. A betting man, I think it’s very difficult in the current political environment, um. We would be hopeful there’ll be change during the term of the next Government.

  2. Gail

    Why is sports broadcasting exempt from the rules about alcohol and gambling advertising and not subject to the same rules as other types of broadcasting on TV?

    There would be an uprising of outraged do-gooders if anyone proposed such a thing as advertising pornography, dating sites or night clubs in children’s viewing times – but gambling and alcohol is somehow OK? Where’s our usual contingent of do-gooder moral police on this topic? Nowhere to be seen or heard.

    Gambling is not a harmless hobby. Gambling corporations exist entirely because most gamblers lose money. They are highly profitable because a lot of gamblers lose a lot of money. It’s not OK to present gambling and alchohol consumption as “only” entertainment and a choice. In theory, pornography is also a choice and “only” entertainment, isn’t it?

    Drinking related events regularly make headline news but tens of thousands of gambling related personal bankruptcies each year are rarely reported. An accidental bared nipple can go viral, but a victim of compulsive gambling will only make headlines if a crime of some magnitude is committed. Thousands of minor crimes related to gambling go unreported.

    The gambling industry has far too much influence in Australia for Abbott to make any moves, so I presume his prancing is, er, grandstanding.

    We’ve stopped watching sport altogether in our house. It’s really all we can do to protest.

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