Australia: No live odds during sporting events broadcasted in Australia

After the Prime Minister on 26 May 2013 threatened to legislate to effect a complete ban on the airing of live betting odds during sporting events on television, the television networks have agreed to implement the Government’s new restrictions.

The restrictions outlined by the Prime Minister include:

• No crosses to gambling representatives either at the ground or near the ground during sporting events.
• Limiting gambling advertising to scheduled breaks in play (that is quarter or half time).

Free TV, which represents the television networks, reacted by describing the restrictions as “unprecedented” but nevertheless agreed to implement them and have undertaken to provide a revised television industry code of practice within 2 weeks.

While the Government’s actions today will no doubt be well received by the public following growing debate and concerns on the issue (and indeed some industry operators who feared that the pervasive nature of the current arrangements were bringing too much focus on the industry), the new restrictions will no doubt cause other industry operators to renegotiate their sponsorship and advertising deals to ensure optimum arrangements are in place under the new regime.