Australian betting operators could soon be hit with a “siren to siren” ban on advertising during televised sports fixtures.
According to The Australian, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will present such a proposal to Malcolm Turnbull’s government on Tuesday 25th April. The newspaper added that the cabinet is expected to give the move their approval.
A similar suggestion by Independent senator and renowned anti-gambling lobbyist Nick Xenophon was rejected in March on the grounds the federal government had the matter in hand.
To placate the country’s free-to-air broadcasters, the government is expected to offer them reduced license fees to offset the loss in ad revenue.
What the NRL, the AFL and Cricket Australia make of the proposal is another matter entirely. Representatives from the NRL and AFL recently met with Fifield to voice their dissatisfaction with his suggestions. It’s also believed that Cricket Australia is against further restrictions since they will reduce the value of its media rights deals with betting operators.
According to Malcolm Speed, the executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional Participate Spots, media rights were “sports’ greatest asset.” Speed also pointed out that broadcasters had already agreed to stop promoting live odds during broadcasts to satisfy the anti-gaming lobby.
“[Further restrictions] will inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programmes and grassroot developments,” Speed concluded.
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