South Australia live-odds ban goes forward; NRL prohibits prop bets

TAGs: Australia, live odds, national rugby league, south australia, Sportsbet

south-australia-nrl-sportsbetThe state of South Australia is pushing ahead with its plans to ban all promotion of live odds during commercial radio and television sports broadcasts, as well as at sports venues. Premier Jay Weatherill said the state’s Independent Gambling Authority (IGA) had agreed to ‘fast-track’ the government’s application, clearing the way for the prohibition to take effect August 1. Broadcasting industry body Free TV had sought an exemption that would have permitted the live odds ads during breaks in entertainment programs while a live sports event was airing on a different channel, but the government rejected this request.

Betting agencies caught violating the ban will face fines of up to $100k per incident, plus a potential revocation of their license to operate in the state. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Weatherill saying the ban was needed to ensure separation between “something that is seen as a pastime and something that’s increasingly being turned into just another opportunity for gambling” Sen. Nick Xenophon, who never met a gambling prohibition he couldn’t get behind, called it “a good day for sports fans, for parents and for kids and a bad day for Tom Waterhouse.”

It was young Waterhouse’s enthusiastic live-odds promotion during National Rugby League (NRL) broadcasts that sparked much of the anti-advertising hysteria currently sweeping the land down under. Predictably, the NRL is now in full overcompensation mode, recently ordering Paddy Power subsidiary Sportsbet to cease offering prop bets on such things as player transfers during the off-season. The Sydney Morning Herald quoted an NRL flack saying such “speculative” wagers for which “there is no time frame for how information may or may not be decided or released” were “not a bet type that we had approved.”

A Sportsbet spokesman said the company felt it had “abided by our product agreement with the NRL … We’ve done nothing wrong.” Sportsbet admitted it had suspended the wagers to demonstrate its good intentions, but stressed that “markets such as these have strict limits in place and are closely monitored.” Will the last person to have fun in Australia kindly turn over the keys to the Fosters factory?


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