‘Siren to Siren’…Australian government set to ban betting advertising during sports broadcasts

The Australian Newspaper has reported that Australia’s federal government will move to ban all betting/gambling advertising during sports broadcasts as early as next week.

It is understood, that Communications Minister Mitch Fifeld will introduce a mandate to the government calling for a ‘siren to siren’ (start to finish) ban on all forms of gambling marketing during sports broadcasts on any public medium.

Fifeld is reported to have held meetings with Australian pro-sports governance, warning executives of the incoming restrictions and further pointing that the Department of Communications expects the Australian government to pass the mandate into law.

In order to soothe its relationship with sports networks who will be impacted by loss of betting advertising revenues, The Australian reports that the government will ‘engage in a trade-off’ by lowering licensing fees.  

Australian sporting stakeholders have been critical of attempts to restrict gambling advertising, with AFL (Aussie Rules) and NRL (Rugby League) executives stating that a broadcast ban would be shortsighted as it would reduce funds for grassroots sport initiatives.

Since 2013 the Australian government has debated whether to ban gambling advertising during sports broadcasts, having been presented a series of recommendations by ‘The Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform (COAG)’ on reducing gambling-related risks.

Seeking to compromise with sports betting detractors, the NRL and AFL have placed a number of wagering restrictions on syndicated matches, banning betting on Under-20 events and limiting bets placed individual athletes.

As yet, no Australian licensed bookmaker has commented on the matter, however, The Australian newspaper notes the high number of betting partnerships made between sports clubs and industry stakeholders.