Are the days numbered for gambling odds to be promoted via television sports games?
News Limited reports that Federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib will hold a teleconference with the NRL, AFL, ARU, Football Federation Australia, Cricket Australia and Netball Australia today.
Eddie McGuire told his Triple M radio audience today, “My understanding is … they will announce, or a push towards, a ban on odds mentioned during radio and TV broadcasts of sporting with the exception of pay and free to air racing.”
This week the State of Origin game included betting odds promoted as an occasional ticker as well as TABSport advertorials. Other TV sports have included even announcers reading out latest betting odds as part of their commentary.
AFL chief Andrew Demetriou, told 3AW today, “This is an issue that we have taken up with the federal government, we’ve taken up with the betting agencies and the venues.
“It is absolutely an issue that this sort of advertising in your face has the potential to get in the heads of young children. And we’ve been very proactive … about having some protocol around this advertising and try and do it a bit more sensitively … and sensibly.”
There are also concerns that sports players could be tempted to pervert the outcome of a match for financial gain. Charges over that very question are pending following an NRL match last August.
“Under our rules, it would lead to more than sacking, it would lead to severe penalties and sanctions. We’re calling on the federal government to adopt the rules of any corruption – it has a jail sentence …” said Demetriou.
But a move to ban or limit betting odds could also impact on sponsorship and revenues for commercial broadcasters.
This week is Responsible Gambling Awareness Week in Victoria.
UPDATE: Sporting codes, broadcasters and betting agencies will be given 12 months to voluntarily cease the practice of live betting odds during sporting events or face legislation under a deal today between state and federal gambling ministers. The ban will stop the promotion of live odds at sporting grounds and in the media.
FreeTV Australia’s Julie Flynn said in a statement, “Commercial free to air broadcasters take very seriously the need to ensure community standards are met and that the advertising and promotion of betting services is undertaken responsibly.
“However, any new restrictions must apply equally across all media platforms. Viewers are accessing content, including sport, in a variety of ways, from a variety of platforms and on a variety of devices.
“It is important that all content services are treated equally. Otherwise affected advertising will simply move to those platforms not subject to regulation”.