Friday, 27 May 2011

Australian sports bodies told to rein in the betting coverage

As mentioned here several weeks ago, the amount of betting editorial and odds plugging during live broadcasts of Australian sport is over the top. Public sentiment was turning against it and it was inevitable that something would have to be done.

Now the Australian Federal Govt has gotten involved, essentially telling broadcasters and sports bodies to sort it out within the next 12 months, or we will do it for you..


Live broadcasts of betting odds to be phased out by June, Stephen Conroy says


"INSIDIOUS" live broadcasts of betting odds will be phased out to prevent gambling becoming embedded in football, cricket and other sports, the state and the federal government agreed today.

But the Federal Government's bid to introduce mandatory wager limits on poker machines was rejected by the states and a constitutional battle is now likely.

A meeting of state and federal ministers in Canberra agreed that the promotion of live odds during the broadcast of sport events had to be curtailed.

"Governments are concerned that promotion, including commentary by sporting role models, is becoming insidious in live sports coverage," the Select Council on Gambling Reform stated in their communique following the talks.

"We are concerned that this can significantly influence vulnerable and young people and normalise gambling behaviour."

There was particular concern over the use of sporting heroes to tout gambling opportunities during a contest.

Broadcasters will be given until June next year to make voluntary changes, with the Government warning it it will legislate if they don't.



However, at the same meeting, ministers went soft on taking an axe to pokie machines and the havoc they wreak on society.

It's a good approach from the govt however I'm not confident the industry will be go far enough if they self-regulate. There's nothing wrong with the occasional plug of the odds around a match - but time and again when it really only interests a small part of society is a step too far.

2 comments:

  1. Scott unfortunately I dont agree with your take on the constant updating of live odds during games. Bookies pay television stations and the AFL for the right to advertise during games and who is to pick up the shortfall? I do find it ironic that live odds updates are unavailable so long as TV stations insist on delayed coverage! What does irk me, however, is Xenophon's crusade against "exotic" betting, criticising First Goal Scorer markets backed from $101 to $26 - in such markets, when books are running at what, 150%, it was reported that they received less than $300 in 15 or 20 individual bets. Unfortunately that is the basis for federal intervention! I think our pollies should go back and do a basic Year 8 Maths course

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  2. not disputing anyone's right to have a different opinion, but by the same logic tobacco companies, brewers or something illegal could put up the money and it would be fine. It's not, it's a fine line re gambling and ramming it down people's throats. It's not subtle like in other countries (UK football with electronic perimeter board advertising), it is blatant, often from people who don't actually have a clue about it in the first place, which only makes it worse!

    By all means, having a betting segment, have an expert gives some thoughts about it and how it actually relates back to the game (2.50 means they are rated a 40% chance of winning)... There's a huge chunk of the audience who have no interest in it, because they can't legally - remember how many kids are watching this stuff. I'm not saying cutting it out altogether, just roll it back a bit.

    As for Xenophon, every time he opens his mouth, it's more proof he is just a headline seeker with no idea what he is talking about. I've ranted about him often enough on here...

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