Pay TV to limit live gambling odds too

2013-04-22_1509Pay Television has joined with Free To Air networks in seeking to reduce live gambling odds during sports broadcasts.

ASTRA has released proposed changes to the subscription television and radio codes of practice released which would ban the promotion of live odds by sports commentators or their guests during play, and for 30 minutes before and after play.

“For many years the subscription television sector has adopted a cautious and socially responsible approach to promoting live odds, so we are keen to ensure our codes are updated to reflect community attitudes and protect vulnerable members of the community,” ASTRA CEO Andrew Maiden said today. “We believe that our proposed changes strike the right balance between respecting the legitimate right of customers to wager on sporting events, and broadcasters’ responsibility to minimise harm to vulnerable members of the community, particularly children and problem gamblers.”

The subscription television and radio codes of practice are developed by the industry in consultation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and interested members of the community. They have a strong statutory basis under the Broadcasting Services Act, under which the ACMA has power to investigate and enforce industry codes. The amendments released today were developed after an extended consultation period with the Australian Government, to give effect to a decision of the Council of Australia Governments.

“The subscription television sector will not only observe these new controls, but will also continue to comply with existing state and federal laws, regulations and advertising codes relating to advertising of gambling services,” Mr Maiden said.

Interested organisations and members of the public are invited to provide written feedback on the proposals, which are available from the ASTRA website (www.astra.org.au). Comments must be received by 5pm, Monday 20 May 2013.

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