The Australian federal government is set to introduce new laws that will ban all forms of gambling advertising on television during live sports events.
According to The Australian newspaper, the ban could come into force as early as next week, with Communications Minister Mitch Fifeld to put the proposal to the cabinet on Tuesday.
The ban would affect all betting advertisements from ‘siren to siren’, or from the start to the finish of televised sports events.
However, the proposed move has attracted criticism from sporting bodies, which say the ban could have a negative impact on funding for grassroots sports.
A senior source at a major sporting body told the newspaper: “This 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.
“It also has the potential to rob sports of product fees.”
Malcolm Speed, the executive director of the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports, which represents all major codes in Australia, has also hit out at the plans.
Speed said: “We don’t support a ban on sports betting advertising, on the basis that it is likely to impact on media rights deals or the value of media rights, which is the sports’ greatest asset.
“We operate in a highly-regulated system, where there are limits on placement of sports betting advertising.
“The sports have co-operated with broadcasters and the government to ban live odds during matches; so any restriction or prohibition will inevitably result in lowering investment in community and participation programmes, and grassroots development.”