Citizen Journalism

Government blueprint for TV self regulation of sports gambling ads

In Gambling, Margo Kingston on May 26, 2013 at 11:23 AM

UPDATE 2 May 27: Why won’t PM Gillard close the loophole which allows gambling ads during sports broadcasts in children’s viewing time? Extracts from her doorstop transcript:

JOURNALIST: Prime Minister, if you want to get rid of the influence of gambling in sport, why don’t you go as far as to ban any gambling related advertisements even through half time onward?

PM: Well we considered that but the proposal that we’re announcing today, we believe, gets the balance right between protecting the community from gaming and the influence of gaming and making sure that there is an appropriate revenue stream for broadcast rights for our sporting codes.

People want to watch great sporting matches on TV. Obviously that’s got to stack up as an economic model for broadcasters, so we believe that what we’ve announced today gets that balance right…

We’ve needed to get the balance right between that and the economic proposition that brings those great matches to our screens.

And what that means is it’s got to stack up for the broadcasters to pay the money to the codes to have access to the game, to put it on TV, so you and I can sit there and watch it.

We think we’ve got the balance right because people know when half time is, they know when, if they’re watching AFL, quarter time and three-quarter time are.

That means if you’re sitting there and you don’t want to watch any gambling advertisements, then have a chat amongst yourselves, go and get a drink, have a little wander around, settle back in for the next section of play.

You can watch every moment of the match and not see a gambling ad and not hear any reference to live odds.

Margo, UPDATE 1 May 26: Here are some key documents in the latest Government attempt to make this issue go away. First, thanks to Fairfax Media Press Gallery journalist Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan), for a background paper given to journos on Sunday morning, then the apparent backdown by ALP backbencher Stephen Hones on his pledge to seek Caucus approval for a private members bill to ban gambling ads during sports broadcasts in kids time. The PM’s official statement, issued later on Sunday to accompany her doorstop announcement, follows.

The government’s policy is so minimalist the gambling and TV industry have rushed to say yes to the PM’s get out of jail free card. Note there is no ad ban, even in childrens’ viewing time.

*

Backgrounder

All promotions of odds by gambling companies and commentators will be banned during the broadcast of live sports matches, under new rules.

The Gillard Government has demanded that Australia’s broadcasters amend their broadcasting codes in the following ways to ensure a reduction in the promotion and advertising of gambling during sport:

• All promotion of betting odds on broadcast media will be prohibited during live sports matches. This includes by gambling companies and commentators.

• All generic gambling broadcast advertisements will be banned during play. Advertisements of this sort would only be allowed before or after a game; or during a scheduled break in play, such as quarter-time and half-time or the end of a set.

• Banner adverts, sponsorship logos, and other broadcast promotions must not appear during play.

• When crossed to, representatives of gambling companies must not be at or around the venue. They also must not appear with the commentary team at any time and must be clearly identified as a gambling representative.

• The Government will monitor the intensity of generic gambling advertisements within the allowed periods. If it is found to go beyond reasonable levels, the Government will impose a total advertising ban.

The Government expects that the broadcasting industry will submit a revised code to the Australian Communications and Media Authority that reflects this position as soon as possible.

The Government expects the ACMA to consider these revised codes promptly.

Should the industry elect not to do this, the Government will fast-track legislation to enshrine these standards in this term of Parliament.

*

Stephen Jones for Throsby

I welcome today’s announcement by the Prime Minister and Minister for Communications which puts new limits on sports betting advertising during TV Broadcasts.

It is a big step in the right direction which sends a clear message to the broadcasters, the sporting codes and corporate bookmakers.

From whistle to whistle, promoting live odds during the game are canned. The TV spruikers of betting odds have been kicked out of the stadium. The banners and logos and other promotions can’t be flashed up during play.

Some of these measures go further than my Private Member’s Bill which was focused on advertising during children’s viewing times – this is welcome.

I want to see today’s measures in place before next Fridays game.

Government should always tread cautiously when it comes to regulation of broadcast content but the corporate bookmakers and the broadcasters are now on notice.

They must make these changes happen or Parliament will step in.

*

SUN 26 MAY 2013

Prime Minister, Minister for Communications

Sydney

All promotions of odds by gambling companies and commentators will be banned during the broadcast of live sports matches, under new rules.

The Gillard Government has demanded that Australia’s broadcasters amend their broadcasting codes in the following ways to ensure a reduction in the promotion and advertising of gambling during sport:

All promotion of betting odds on broadcast media will be prohibited during live sports matches. This includes by gambling companies and commentators.

All generic gambling broadcast advertisements will be banned during play. Advertisements of this sort would only be allowed before or after a game; or during a scheduled break in play, such as quarter-time and half-time.

Banner adverts, sponsorship logos, and other broadcast promotions must not appear during play.

When crossed to, representatives of gambling companies must not be at or around the venue. They also must not appear with the commentary team at any time and must be clearly identified as a gambling representative.

The Government will monitor the intensity of generic gambling advertisements within the allowed periods. If it is found to go beyond reasonable levels, the Government will impose a total advertising ban.

The public have had enough of odds and betting promotions being shoved down their throats while listening to and watching sport.

Younger Australians, in particular, should continue to talk about which is the best football team, best netball team, or best rugby team, not which team is at the shortest odds to win a game.

These measures ensure that the watching of sport and the promotion of gambling is kept separate.

The Government expects that the broadcasting industry will submit a revised code to the Australian Communications and Media Authority that reflects this position as soon as possible.

The Government expects the ACMA to consider these revised codes promptly.

Should the industry elect not to do this, the Government will fast-track legislation to enshrine these standards in this term of Parliament.

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  1. Not before time. Self-regulation has been sadly amiss on this issue. Federal government would not have had to crack the whip if the industry had done its job properly in regulating this serious lack of standards. It seems as though Ch 9, in particular, has been allowed to make up its own rules & regs.

  2. Yeah yeah no It’s a start but way too many holes left in that to annoy us.
    Now how about some serious action on ending alcohol advertising?

  3. About bloody time too. Fox Footy is appalling with non stop adverts for gambling, all aimed at young men and all with the subtext that you will win. Horseshit! The only winner is the bookie. Gambling should be treated as any other addictive drug by limiting or completely banning any advertising. If advertising is to be allowed then I think that the Conservatives bellow for balance should be followed here as well with scenes of the destroyed families and lives due to gambling and these scenes to be aired within the advertisements extolling gambling..

  4. […] Government blueprint for TV self regulation of sports gambling ads. […]

  5. Reblogged this on lmrh5.

  6. It feels more and more like gambling is the national cultural activity. The LNP government wants developers to create an “entertainment district” located only a kilometre from the current casino in Brisbane. But gambling is a very, very poor replacement for an engaged, active cultural landscape. The mindless consumerism and desperation for a quick buck says people are discontent, but they are only able to express it through making a donation of their cash to rubbish enterprises such as online gambling. Don’t expect the current stock of people sitting in parliament to lead on an alternative though.

  7. I would love to see all gambling promotions banned altogether,as they treated tobacco,I’m no wowsser,I love a bet,and a slap,but I’m not going to have my children hanging of me at the pub or club while I’m doing it.But having to put up with the crap while watching the footy with your family is way below the belt.We don’t watch 9 anymore.You don’t need to have someone like T Waterhouse on your screen normalizing gambling,The stations must be desperate for money to have to get so low.

  8. The terms “loophole” and “kids viewing time” are emotive and obscure the issue – to begin with would kids viewing time be 8.30 when MA programs can be broadcast or 7.30 when PG programs can be broadcast; and exactly what loophole is it you are referring to – that implies some nefarious work around of existing regulation which clearly this is not. There is no loophole because before this no one thought to advertise gambling so aggressively and the govt and oppn are arcing up to respond to “community” sentiment, however defined. Its called commercial tv for a reason. Stupid question from journo – perhaps their publication would like to refuse all gambling revenue to save the children – but a good response from the Pm to stupid question. If the journo wants no advertising of gambling which might be viewed by children perhaps they might like to suggest some alternative business models for commercial TV and their own paper.

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