Australia Turnbull government implements pre-watershed sports betting ban

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed that his government will move to ban all gambling-related advertisements and marketing during live sports broadcasts aired before a watershed of 8:30 pm.

PM Turnbull informed the media of the blanket ban pre-watershed, which is set to cover all verticals including TV, radio and Internet. Australian horse racing will be exempt from the advertising restrictions.

Last month Communications Minister Mitch Fifeld informed Australian sports stakeholders of the government’s incoming decision, detailing plans for a ‘siren to siren’ ban on sports betting advertising.

The pre-watershed advertising restrictions form part of an overhaul of Australia’s broadcast laws by the governing Liberal Party, who next week will announce new TV provisions attached to its new budget.

In order to soothe its relationship with sports networks who will be impacted by loss of betting advertising revenues, Australian news sources report that the government has engaged in a trade-off which will see it lower the cost of TV-licensing fees.

However, nearly all major sports stakeholders have been critical of Liberal Party and Fifeld position on betting advertising, stating that the restrictions will impact the value of sports club’s commercial capabilities.

The pre-watershed restriction will likely impact the AFL (Aussie Rules) AUS $10 million a year sponsorship with CrownBet. The NRL (Rugby League) whose clubs have formed a number of betting partnerships at present has a record AUS $60 million commercial tie-in with Sportsbet.au.

Sports stakeholders further argue that Australian sporting bodies have requested for betting operators to limit and restrict a number of markets available to consumers in order to protect sports integrity concerns.

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