Horse racing exempt from ACMA live odds recheck

Horse racing exempt from ACMA live odds recheck
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Horse, harness and greyhound racing are all exempt from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) new codes of practice which limit betting odds promotions and gambling advertising during live sports broadcasts.

The media watchdog has registered the new rules which will ban the promotion of live odds during play, while other gambling advertisements will only be allowed during scheduled breaks in a match, such as half time. Commentators will also be banned from promoting odds for 30 minutes before and after a game.

However, the amendments to the Code do not include horse, harness or greyhound racing, which means live odds will continue to appear on FTA channels for major horse racing events, including the Melbourne Cup and Caulfield Cup.  

The ACMA told B&T this morning that it was following the government's policy line in relation to live racing odds in its evaluation of the effectiveness of a new code for the promotion of live sports odds.

A spokesperson said the government's policy acknowledged the intrinsic relationship between wagering and certain types of sport, like horse racing, dog racing and harness racing, and they will be except from these codes.  

In May, television networks agreed to implement the government’s new restrictions on the airing of live betting odds after former Prime Minister Julia Gillard threatened to legislate a complete ban.

The ACMA chairman Chris Chapman (pictured), said “ACMA worked with broadcasters to enhance and harmonise the codes so they provide appropriate community safeguards for the matters covered by them”.

The ACMA said it will consider if there's a need to review the effectiveness of the new codes at the conclusion of the Australian summer sports season, and will also "continue to gather evidence about prevailing community standards, including through its research programme".

The codes have been developed by the commercial and subscription radio and television sectors in response to community concern and government policy around live odds.

Free TV Australia has welcomed ACMA’s registration of amendments to the Code.

"Free TV has made a number of changes to its proposal following the public consultation process in April and May. These new rules provide significant community safeguards and will reduce and control the promotion of odds and gambling during live sporting events,” said Free TV CEO, Julie Flynn.

“Under these rules viewers can be confident that there will be no promotion of odds broadcast from the starting whistle to the finishing whistle," she added.

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