Another Aussie Politician Seeks to Drop Gambling Ads


It's not only opposition in Australia that seeks to reduce the number of gambling ads - this week, Stephen Jones MP, a member of Australia's ruling political party and the government's gambling reform committee, expressed a similar ambition.

Namely, he stated that he is drafting a bill which could ban all gambling advertising - including those for online sports betting firms - and live odds updates during television and radio broadcasts and at sports stadia.

What he suggests is to exclude horse and greyhound racing from the ban, and he also specified: ''The chance doesn't come along often to do something that is absolutely right, that takes on vested interests, that's in the public interest. I think we should grab it.''

On the other side, regarding a new television code of conduct supported by Communications Minister Steve Conroy, that would allow gambling ads during sports broadcasts and restrict live odds updates to breaks in play, Jones said that these measures do not go "nearly far enough."

What's more, Jones has written to NRL chief executive David Smith and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou, discussing excessive sports betting advertising and asking them to intervene after he received "widespread complaints" from his constituents about this issue.

In the note sent to the organizations' chiefs, he said: ''Most people I have spoken to do not want to see the sport of football become a vehicle for gambling in the same way as horse racing is. 'They are particularly concerned about the promotion of gambling in the presence of children who are keen followers of the game.''

In this he enjoys the support of Josh Frydenberg, a Victorian Liberal in the gambling reform committee, who recently told an AFL witness at the Melbourne hearing in March: ''I just think you have not got the balance right. Personally I think there is too much advertising and promotion. I think it is invidious to the sport and I think it is affecting younger people who are exposed to it.''

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