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Xenophon’s ban on gambling ads during sport falls flat

Thu, Mar 30, 3:55pm by Staff Writer

Just two weeks ago, we covered a story here on that South Australia senator – and anti-gambling campaigner – Nick Xenophon, was negotiating a deal with the Turnbull Government to remove all gambling advertising during sports broadcasts.

It now seems that the ban will not proceed following a recommendation by the Coalition and Labor against the proposed reforms.

Xenophon had initially put forward the proposals as part of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill with the aim of banning gambling advertising during periods where children could be watching, but that attempt was thwarted.

Along with proposing the ban, Senator Xenophon and his NXT party also wanted to establish a national regulator and a self-exclusion register for people affected by a gambling habit.

The party did have a win last week when bookies were banned from offering a line of credit. That reform passed the Senate with the support of Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers as part of IGAB.

Senator Xenophon’s plans to introduce a ban on gambling ads, as well as the formation of a national regulator will now have to be put forward as a separate piece of legislation after a Senate Committee decided that the measures were not necessary.

But that legislation would not get through the Lower House.

It’s sure to be a sigh of relief for broadcasters across all sports, who receive a big part of their advertising revenue from bookmakers.

In last season’s AFL coverage, more than one in six of the ads during the game, were gambling ads and to illustrate the growth from 2011 to 2015, the total gambling advertising spend went from $91 million to $236 million.

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