Online Casino Licensees will soon be subject to new gambling laws in Australia. The Australian government’s proposal for a complete ban on sports betting operators advertising during live televised sports broadcasts has sparked a flurry of pushback from stakeholders.
Last week, The Australian reported that the Minister of Communications, Mitch Fifield, would be presenting a proposal on the 25th of April 2017. The purpose is to call for a “siren to siren” ban on betting adverts during live sports broadcasts. More so, he mentioned they would also offer broadcasters a reduction in their license fees to counterbalance the expected loss of revenue from the betting ads.
Betting Ads During Live Sports Broadcasts
A report from The Age also said that the National Rugby League (NRL), Cricket Australia and Australian Football League (AFL) are pushing Minister Fifield to make amendments to his proposal of banning betting ads. Furthermore, the sports leagues want to be guaranteed that betting ads will at least be allowed in the one-hour window immediately before live sports broadcasts.
In a call to insert some sanity in the matter in discussion, the boss of the Australian Football League, Gillion McLachlan allegedly reminded Minister Fifield that regardless of all the hysterical media headlines, sports betting accounts for 5% or less in Australians’ complete gambling spending.
Standard Media Index figures indicate that the gambling industry consumed $216m on advertising in 2016, of which AU$40m was spent online. TV networks fear that an uncontrolled digital advertising industry will permit online platforms to outspend networks for media rights deals.
Paul Andersen, CEO of Australia’s Ten Network, said the planned license fee reduction was essential to the viability of their sector. However, he also stated that it should not be considered as a tradeoff for further advertising restrictions. Paul Andersen is pushing hard for a license fee reduction in spite of what the government will propose on betting ads.
Gibraltar Regulator Advises Online Casino Licensees to Obey Aussie Law
Australia’s parliament is yet to resume sitting on the 9th of May 2017. Amongst the matters on the agenda is the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016. The bill seeks to formally forbid online casino and poker gambling, as well as online in-play sports betting and credit betting. A vote on the Act isn’t expected until June or July of this year.
Gibraltar-licensed Betreels Casino also left the Aussie industry last week with the influence from the Gibraltar Gambling Commission. Betreel sent an email to its affiliates and explained that the regulator of Gibraltar gaming made a request that they stop accepting Aussie players. As a result of the anticipated Interactive Gambling laws, other foreign-licensed operators will soon follow. Betreels also mentioned that the requested change would be effective from the 4th of May 2017.
With so much change in the realm of online casino gambling in Australia, it’s hard to tell the direction it is going. Therefore we will do our best to keep Aussie players posted on the latest developments for online casino licensees and operators. It’s unclear whether the new Interactive Gambling laws will affect other online casino licensees at the moment.