TV companies agree to restrict betting odds promotion


Australian television broadcasters agreed to a demand by Prime Minister Julia Gillard that they ban promotion of live odds and restrict gambling ads during sports matches. The rules forbid gambling ads during commercial breaks while matches are underway, but they would be allowed during breaks between periods and before or after a game. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said the government would intervene again if gambling ads overwhelmed the breaks between periods.

South Australia moved to put in tighter restrictions, with Premier Jay Weatherhill backing state legislation that will ban broadcast of ads featuring live odds from beginnig to end of sports telecasts. including during commerical breaks. Bookmakers would be liable to fines of up to A$100,000 for violations. Separately, bookmaker Tom Waterhouse, whose promotion of live odds during broadcasts provoked particular controversy, said he would cut back on his advertising with Channel 9 in Austraia to show he was listening to the prime minister and public.