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Australia Restricting Gambling Ads on Television
- March 21, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
The government of Australia is seriously considering the idea to restrict gambling ads on television, especially during live coverage of sporting events.
A Political Move
Behind this idea is a quid pro quo arrangement with Nick Xenophon, a senator from South Australia and the leader of the centrist Nick Xenophon Team political party in the Australian Senate.
The government needs the votes of Xenophon’s party members in order to go through with the latest plans to reform media ownership. To ensure this, the government is willing to make certain concessions on the question of gambling adverts.
Xenophon is well-known for his anti-gambling policy, and even his former political movement was named No Pokies. Now, with his votes needed in the government’s efforts to deregulate media ownership, we could see a real crackdown on gambling ads on TV.
How Far Will the Government Go?
If such law should ever come into force, it is reasonable to expect a drop in advertising income, but many fear it could lead to much stricter rules on this issue. However, the government has already denied the possibility of a total elimination of gambling advertising on Australian television stations.
The new media reform would cancel the ‘two out of three rule’, which at this time forbids media owners from controlling multiple media in the same market, but would also deal with the ‘reach rule’ and allow networks to broadcast on a national level.
Senator Xenophon told the media the television was saturated with gambling adverts, which was becoming an important issue for him and his party. He further added this question would have to be resolved in any future negotiations with the government regarding the support of media reform.
Gambling Industry is Worried
Those who will be affected the most, apart from television stations, are gambling operators and many of them expressed their concerns with the announced restriction.
Among them is Tabcorp, Australian betting operator and one of the largest publicly listed gaming companies in the world. Paula Dwyer, the chairwoman of the company, said there were many concerns over this issue.