If anyone had doubts whether the state of South Australia would really ban live betting advertising from August, we can now say with confidence: it will.
Although the Australian gambling industry has been critical of the bill, the state’s premier Jay Weatherill has expressed support for it, removing any lingering uncertainty about the impending changes to South Australian gambling laws.
Although changes to nationwide gambling ad regulations are also in the works, the state’s Independent Gambling Authority justified the unilateral move by referring to the ‘statutory responsibility’ to protect its citizens.
Even though punters can bet on sports in Australia both online and offline, the industry’s practice of transmitting live odds during various games has been under fire for a while, being accused of turning sporting events into vehicles for gambling. This has led to a national consultation on reforming gambling advertising, to be completed by next month.
It was this national process that Betfair’s Communications Manager Daniel Bevan was referring to when he said that “this area should be regulated at a federal level where we have been engaged in the public consultation with Free TV. The South Australian Government should have contributed to this process rather than adopt its own confused code.”
Bevan also spoke of industry self-regulation, insisting that Betfair has “already made changes in reaction to public feedback but there should be a nationally consistent set of regulations rather than different rules in each state.”
Industry fears of dissonant regulations are not unfounded, considering that the state of Western Australia has already started drafting its own bill.
On thing is for sure though: as long as the local populace is not allowed to play at Australian internet casino, online sports betting will remain the most popular form of internet gambling in the country, regardless of any changes in advertising.