Major sports leagues back Aussie betting ad ban exemptions

Major sports leagues back Aussie betting ad ban exemptions

Australian media groups’ push for exemptions to the government’s siren-to-siren sports betting ad ban gets a boost from the nation’s major sports leagues.

Major sports leagues back Aussie betting ad ban exemptionsThe Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australia’s Coalition for Major Professional and Participation Sports has thrown its support behind an appeal to enable radio and television stations across the country to broadcast a gambling ad once every two hours during long-form sports or multi-sport competitions.

Under the current ad ban, television and radio stations are prohibited from airing gambling promotions during “all live sports broadcasts” between 5:00 a.m. and 8.30 p.m. This takes effect five minutes before the start of play and extends to five minutes after the game ends.

The goal, according to government officials, is to reduce children’s exposure to betting ads.

The sports coalition warned the Australian government of a possible dip in sports revenues since wagering companies have been major contributors to the industry. They reiterated their position that the value of media rights were diminished by the imposition of the gambling ad restrictions, according to the sports group.

Last month, Free TV Australia (FTA), Commercial Radio Australia (CRA) and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) sought changes to the recently implemented ad policy.

The online bookmakers-backed lobby group Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), however, warned that the exemptions would pave the way for the airing of at least one gambling ad every two hours during “long-form” sports events, such as cricket.

The group expressed concerned that the exemptions would exclude lottery companies like Lottoland from the ban. RWA added that broadcasters would be able to mention gambling operators in sponsorship statements should the exemptions be granted.

Data showed that the gambling industry spent nearly AUD150 million (US$115 million) on advertisements in 2016. In April, television networks warned that popular Australian sporting events may no longer be broadcast on free-to-air television as result of the gambling ad ban.