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tide turning back against Australian bookie advertising

As mentioned on this blog earlier in the year, Australian sports fans have been overwhelmed this year by betting advertising. That's fine if you love a punt, but if you have to avoid it for various reasons, there really was nowhere to turn. Live odds updates on scoreboards, official websites carrying live prices, and most annoying of all, the repeated paid plugs with live odds read out by the commentators. There has to be a happy medium - enough to interest potential punters but also allow those with no interest to tune out.

MCG Trust tackles sports gambling head-on

A significant blow against the pervasive advertising of sports betting at main venues has been struck.

As Fairfax reported yesterday, the Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust will not renew an agreement with Betfair, which displays updated odds on scoreboards during AFL games. The MCG Trust, which controls a stadium where crowds of up to 100,000 gather, imposed the ban on live odds updates after complaints from members.

It is uncertain whether the MCG decision will have a knock-on effect at Sydney's main venues. A spokesman for the SCG Trust said the content of scoreboard advertising was controlled by its tenants. The Sydney Swans no longer show live odds because they do not have a contract with a betting agency. Cricket Australia does not allow scoreboard odds updates - understandable given the game's well known problems with match-fixing.



Sports betting has a place in Australian society, but the industry has to be careful it doesn't get into the despised, plague-like state of poker machines. Deregulation let them into nearly every pub in the country and the number of problem gamblers in the country rose exponentially. Morons like Senator Nick Xenophon cannot be allowed to dictate government policy with a mandate from the public who are fed up with proceedings.

Moderation is all we ask for.

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