Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has approved a ban on certain types of gambling advertising during sporting events.

It’s a rare victory for anti-gambling forces in the punter-packed Land Down Under, and a blow to Aussie facing operators.

The new rules ban the airing of gambling ads during live play portions of sporting events. Advertising during official breaks in the action, such as halftime or breaks between periods. Those advertisements are limited to generic advertisements and cannot mention live odds.

The ban applies to all live sporting events with exception of horse racing and met with little resistance from Aussie media outlets. That’s not too surprising considering that odds advertising is still allowed during pre-game shows and a number of other places.

Gillard explained the reasoning behind the ban in an interview with Aussie paper, the Age:

Families have become increasingly frustrated about the penetration of live odds into sporting coverage, and worried that their son or daughter is now talking about the game, not through the prism of what’s happening on the field but through the prism of the associated betting.

She also went on to say that Australians are tired of being bombarded with live odds advertising during sporting events. (Though she offered no evidence to back that claim.)

While the ban is something of a compromise, it wasn’t nearly enough for the Australian gambling industry’s number one enemy, Senator Nick Xenophon from South Australia. Xenophon said the doesn’t really address the core problems associated with gambling.

Other Australian Senators have vowed to introduce legislation that expands the scope of the advertising ban to include other broadcasts, too.

Given that Australians are some of the most prolific punters on the planet, Xenophon and company should consider any type of ban a victory.

 What do you think of the Aussie advertising ban? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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