Australia set to ban gambling ads during live TV sports coverage
The Australian government is set to introduce a bill that would ban advertising by gambling companies during live sports coverage, a move that is reported to have already provoked broadcasters to begin reviewing their advertising budgets.
Mitch Fifield, the country’s communications minister, is due to present the proposal next week to the cabinet, which is expected to accept it, according to The Australian newspaper.
The so-called ‘siren-to-siren’ ban could represent a serious financial blow to Australian sport and its broadcasters, with marketing spending in the betting industry having increased almost three-fold between 2011 and 2015, from A$119 million to $328 million, according to industry estimates.
The increase has helped fund record sports rights deals with the likes of the Australian Football League and the National Rugby League.
The government is under heavy pressure from anti-gambling groups to limit advertising during live coverage of sport. However, Malcolm Speed, executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional Participation Sports, told The Australian that broadcasters had previously agreed to ban the promotion of live odds during sports broadcasts and argued that further restrictions “will inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programs, and grassroots development.”