From March 2016, the state government of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia will prohibit advertisements of live odds betting on television and radio at the time of sports broadcasts spanning less than four hours, such as NRL, AFL, cricket and football. The rule will not be applicable for Test cricket or golf tournament coverage as these continue for over four hours.
Regulators have taken the step for limiting problem gambling and lessening the proliferation of betting advertising targeting Australian sports viewers, especially children and problem gamblers. NSW is going to be the first Australian state to put such a ban.
According to last Friday’s announcement by deputy premier and Minister for gaming and racing Troy Grant, live betting inspires impulsive or larger bets for chasing expected losses during a game and as a result, poses a heightened risk to obsessive gamblers.
One case study cited in The Guardian involves one man who gambled away the proceeds of the sale of his home after being offered up to $500 in free bets. Another man attempted suicide to run away from his gambling debts and came back from hospital after being offered to be taken to a boxing match.
Grant said, “There is no doubt the sports betting market is becoming increasingly competitive as operators aggressively chase market share through promotions, so it’s important that regulation moves with the industry.” The scope of this ban is said to extend to include attractive credits, vouchers and similar promotions by gambling operators in December, followed by the submission of a federal report on online gambling by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell. Regulators have asked NSW media owners operating broadcast channels to amend their future advertising inventory according to the forthcoming restrictions.
Australian political, media and industry stakeholders have been immensely pressurizing the government to do something about the infringement of advertising of gambling products. Paula Dwyer, Chairwoman of Tabcorp said last month in their annual general meeting that they support further restrictions: “It’s the scale of advertising: I think there are legitimate community concerns around this.”