Australian bookmakers and online operators are not happy about a proposed “bell to bell” ban on sports betting ads during live sports broadcasts.

Groups from the Australian Football League (AFL) and the National Rugby League (NRL) to broadcaster like Channel Nine, have all chimed in their dismay regarding the draconian new set of advertising regulations.

Their tactics in fighting the measure seem to rest on pointing the absurdity of the Communications Minister’s arguments regarding the impact of live sports betting advertisements on the Australian public.

For example, an unnamed representative of the Australian broadcaster Channel Nine told the Sydney Morning Herald that gambling ads aren’t quit the problem their opponents make them out to be saying that TV ads:

…do not reflect the reality of how audiences are exposed to gambling advertising, and the sensible approach would be to include all platforms.

A representative of the AFL reportedly told the Communications Minister that sports betting only about 5 percent of Aussie gambling and isn’t quite the problem its been made out to be.

His league, and some broadcasters, are looking for a compromise deal that will protect sports betting ad income by meeting anti-gambling activists halfway. This group is suggesting that the ad ban move forward, but that it only cover broadcasts before 8:30 p.m.

Broadcasters also warn that banning live betting ads from television won’t make them go away entirely. They’re telling anyone who will listen that the ban will only shift operators’ ad dollars online, potentially to illegal offshore operators.

Further discussions on the sports betting ad ban are scheduled for May 9, when the Australian Parliament resumes business.


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