The federal government is set to ban advertising by sports betting companies during live games under new laws that it will look to put in place as early as next week.
According to The Australian, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will put forward the proposal to cabinet on Tuesday which would affect all betting advertising from “siren to siren” – that is, from the beginning right to the end of games.
AFL boss Gillon McLachlan and NRL chief operating officer Nick Weeks have met with Fifield in the past week, The Australian reported, while the Communications Minister has also asked sporting codes how a gambling advertising ban during live games would affect them, in preparation for the new laws to be introduced.
As part of the deal, the federal government is expected to engage in a trade-off with free-to-air TV networks, which is likely to see them use the deal as leverage to have their licensing fees reduced. It is not yet clear whether a similar deal will be struck to compensate subscription television.
However, Malcolm Speed, executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, which represents all of the major local sporting codes, has rubbished the proposed ban on the basis that it is likely to impact on media rights deals or the value of media rights.
“We operate in a highly-regulated system, where there are limits on placement of sports betting advertising,” he told The Australian.
“The sports have co-operated with broadcasters and the government to ban live odds during matches. So, any restriction or prohibition will inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programs, and grassroots development.”
According to The Australian, the government is tipped to engage in a trade-off with free-to-air TV networks as part of the proposed ban, which will likely see them use it as an excuse to reduce their licensing fees, but it is still unclear whether subscription TV will be compensated with a similar deal.
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