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Momentum gathers for live betting odds ban during sports broadcasts in Australia

TAGs: Australia, gambling, jay weatherhill, sports betting

star-casino-whales-australia-sports-bettor-taxEverybody seems to be in agreement on the ‘why’ of it all, but the ‘how’ is a totally different manner.

That’s the sentiment going on in Australia right now with regards to the screening of live betting odds during sports broadcasts. People in government want to get rid of them amid public outcry on the supposed negative effects it has on children viewers. But as far as a consensus on how to go about it is concerned, well, that’s a totally different thing.

South Australian Labor Premier Jay Weatherhill is leading the fight to ban the practice of showing live betting odds during sports broadcasts and he’s taking the “get-in-line-or-dont-come-here” approach in trying to send his message. “They’re going to have to comply with South Australian law or they won’t be permitted to operate in South Australia,” Weatherill told Yahoo! Seven News.

But even his approach seems to have caused strong reactions from a variety of industry and government heads, including Free TV Australia’s chief executive, Julie Flynn, who insists that Weatherhill’s state-based methods isn’t the appropriate way to go about it because a ban of this nature would require commonwealth legislation, which is to say that everybody should be on board.

“Broadcasting is legislated and regulated federally, we don’t want to be going back to a 19th century railway approach to regulation in this area,” Flynn told Yahoo! Seven News.

Even Communications Minister Stephen Conroy took Weatherhill to task on his gung-ho approach in banning live betting odds on sports broadcasts. “South Australia have no power under the communication provisions, commonwealth powers,” Conroy told reporters in Sydney, as quoted by the Herald Sun. “They do have certain other powers, but they reached an agreement at COAG (Council of Australian Governments) to go through a consultation phase.”

But even with these disagreements, the ban is still likely to pass without any challenges because of the seemingly consensus belief that its major platform of child protection isn’t something that people would want to have their names attached as being opposed to it. Nevermind the fact that television isn’t the only form of media that kids can have access to – newspaper, magazine, and billboard advertising won’t be touched by this ban – but it’s also the type that chidden have the most access, or at the very least, exposure, to.

It also doesn’t bode well for sports betting operators that the country’s parliament leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, is personally against the practice of having these live betting odds show up on sports broadcasts, commenting that it drives her up to the wall to see sports broadcasts talking about live betting odds instead of the actual games themselves.

The expectation now isn’t so much if a ban will pass but when it will happen. Free TV Australia believes that the country is weeks away from the ban being enforced. But the biggest takeaway from this is the freedom the sports betting industry in promoting and advertising itself in Australian sports broadcasts is more than likely coming to an end.

For an industry that currently operates under a system of self-regulation, that’s a pretty bitter pill to take, but one that the industry might be forced to swallow soon.

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