Gaming regulators in the Australian state of New South Wales have banned gambling operators from airing in-play odds advertising during sporting events.

The move is aimed at curbing problem gambling by reducing the number of opportunities gamblers have to indulge in impulsive behavior.

Fortunately, for in-play wagering enthusiasts anyways, the ban will not apply to all events. Any sporting event that’s shorter than four hours, including some cricket matches and golf tournaments, will be exempted from the ban.

While banning certain types of gambling advertising is sure to be a big hit with Australia’s anti-gambling crowd, not everyone is certain the ban will really matter. Samantha Thomas, an Australian college professor who studies public health, told the Guardian newspaper that banning one type of advertising probably won’t make that much difference saying:

We have to stop thinking about problematic advertising as just being about live odds promotions and have to think more comprehensively about the range of marketing tactics that children may be exposed to, and how that might influence their attitudes towards gambling, particularly in sport.

Other critics of the Aussie gambling industry say that other marketing techniques, such as extending credit to gamblers over the phone, are far more destructive to the social fabric than in-play odds advertising.

There are, of course, a few twists and turns on the road to in-play odds advertising ban.

For example, broadcasters will have to figure out how to remove the offensive ads from broadcasts to New South Wales, but not the rest of the country.

The ban on in-play is slated to start this December.

 


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