Turnbull’s government is expected to ban TV betting advertising during live sports events “from siren to siren,” with suggestions that prohibition could come into force as early as next week.

 Malcolm Speed opposes Aussie TV betting ad bad

Malcolm Speed of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports says that the TV ad ban will result in less investment in grassroots sports and community programmes. (Image: Cricketique.com)

Sporting bodies are largely opposing the ban, arguing that it’s funding for grassroots sports that will ultimately suffer.

Malcolm Speed, the executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, which represents all of Australia’s major bodies, told the Australian this week that the prohibition will “inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programs, and grassroots development.”

He also complained it would “impact on media rights deals or the value of media rights, which is the sports’ greatest asset.”      

One senior figure at a major sporting body, who wished to remain nameless, told the newspaper that the ban “will drive punters to overseas websites and it will result in no reduction in gambling, but a reduction in taxation to state and federal governments.’’

He also complained that it would ultimately rob sports of their product fees, the commission sporting bodies take on each bet placed on their sport through Australian licensed operators.    

Free-to-air Sports May Be Jeopardised

Meanwhile, broadcasters are also up in arms, with Channel 7 warning that the move could result in the networks losing sports to online platforms, meaning certain codes may not be broadcast in free-to-air television in the future.

Channel 7 told Fairfax Media that the restriction on advertising will curtail a network’s ability to recoup the vast amounts of money they spend securing exclusive broadcasting rights

“The reported gambling advertising restrictions would have a significant impact on the future value of sporting rights for free-to-air broadcasters and, as a result, we are likely to see more of them [sports] migrating to unregulated platforms run by foreign multinationals.”

Bookies Relaxed About Ban

Ironically, the bookies themselves are largely supportive of the ban. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the pressure to outspend rivals is enormous and way too expensive.

Tabcorp has said that total marketing spend in the betting industry had increased almost three-fold, from approximately $119 million in the 2011 financial year to approximately $328 million in 2015.   

“We have long shared the community’s view that there is too much gambling advertising,” said a spokesperson for Tabcorp recently.

At last, it looks like the gambling industry and Nick Xenophon agree on something.