Australia considers crackdown on television gambling ads

20 March 2017

Australia’s government could introduce laws that limit the amount of gambling adverts during televised sporting events in an effort to win crossbench votes.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Nick Xenophon holds crucial votes for plans to reform media ownership and is using a ban on betting ads to aid his negotiations.

Fairfax Media understands that the government could slash gambling adverts on television in exchange for the support of three senators in the Nick Xenophon Team on media ownership deregulation.

Should the changes come into effect, television networks would be hit by a drop in advertising revenue, but the government said this would be offset by a decrease, or total elimination, of television licence fees.

The government is hoping to abolish the current ‘two out of three rule’, which bans media owners from controlling a television network, radio station and newspaper in the same market, as well as the ‘reach rule’ that prevents television networks from broadcasting nationally.

Senator Xenophon told Fairfax Media: “The saturation of gambling advertising during sporting broadcasts is a major community issue that must be a part of negotiations with the government over media reform.”

A number of companies, including some from the gaming industry, have spoken out over concerns regarding the level of gambling ads on television in Australia.

Tabcorp chairwoman Paula Dwyer has said there were “legitimate community concerns” over televised gambling adverts.

Related article: Aussie broadcasters slam plans to outlaw in-game betting adverts