Australia takes strong stance on promotion of live odds

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Australian Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy announced on Friday the introduction of a multi-sport ban on in-game betting to be rolled out by June 2012.

The Council of Australian Governments met Friday and issued a statement through its Select Council of Gambling Reform committee.

The Government has undertaken to work with sport and betting industries with a view to controlling and reducing the promotion of live odds during sports coverage which it believes negatively influences the young and vulnerable.

Broadcasters and sporting groups will be given until June 2012 to voluntarily phase-out and cease the practice. Should satisfactory amendments not be made, the Government will consider legislation - the effects of which would be backdated to June 2011. Existing contracts will be permitted to run their course.

"There is a very insidious culture starting to develop, that is targeting the vulnerable and the young as they are attending sporting events; as they are watching on television sporting events," Conroy said.

Advertising mediums affected by the ban include TV, mobile, internet, scoreboards, radio and ground announcers.

Further talks will be held to discuss whether odds would be allowed before a game or at half time.

The ban will affect all sporting codes except horse racing which "all ministers saw as a special case, given its longstanding connection with wagering," Conroy said.

The Government will also undertake a review of the operation of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 which will include consultation with key stakeholders, states and territories and the broader community.

Source: InfoPowa News