Government agreement to reduce promotion of live odds in sports broadcasts

Federal MP for Chifley Ed Husic has welcomed an announcement that the Federal Government has secured the agreement of commercial and subscription broadcasters to reduce and control the promotion of live odds during sports broadcasts.

The agreement – announced by Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy – results from Government negotiations with peak industry bodies Free TV Australia, Commercial Radio Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association.

“I understand people don’t mind having the occasional bet on a sports match but I’ve got to say I’ve never felt entirely comfortable seeing odds promoted mid-game,” Mr Husic said.

“I’m not the only one who’s felt that way because other sports fans have said the same thing to me.

"Promoting a culture of gambling by linking it to sports is something we should think long and hard about.  I certainly welcome Minister Conroy’s announcement for this reason.

"Under the plan, broadcasters have agreed to change their existing codes of practice to restrict live odds promotion, including banning sporting commentators from mentioning live odds and banning live odds promotion during play.

“Code amendments based on the Government’s agreed principles will be developed by broadcasters in consultation with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) and the Government expects to see them registered by late December.”

The Federal Government will keep track of developments in this area, mainly through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Select Council on Gambling Reform.

The states and territories have also committed to look at the steps they can take to limit promotion of live odds at sporting grounds, such as on scoreboards or by ground announcers.

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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