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Western Australia moves to ban live betting odds at sporting venues

8th July 2013 8:21 am GMT

The state government of Western Australia has initiated plans to ban on-ground advertising of live betting odds at venues during sporting events, with legislation set to be introduced which could also restrict gambling advertising on signs and billboards.

The government said that the move reflects community concern over the intrusion of gambling advertising, with legislation to be introduced which aims to protect children from the “normalisation” of sport gambling.

Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett said the ban would include the advertising of live betting odds on big screens at sporting grounds across the state, such as Patersons Stadium and NiB Stadium.

“This move reflects widespread community concern about the intrusion of gambling advertising into sporting events,” said Barnett. “The most worrying aspect is that children watching sporting events are being bombarded with gambling advertising.

“We don’t want young West Australian fans conditioned to think that gambling is an essential part of their favourite sport. We want them to go to our stadiums to watch their sporting heroes, not the latest odds being offered by the bookmakers to entice people to place a bet.”

The Premier added that the move was intended to prohibit the on-ground promotion of live odds, but could be extended to restrict gambling advertising on signs and billboards if necessary.

Western Australian Sport and Recreation Minister Terry Waldron said the state government’s move was part of a nationwide agreement.

“Western Australia joined all states and territories in supporting national action to ban the advertising of live gambling odds during sporting broadcasts on television,” said Waldron. “In order for it to be effective, the Federal Government had to take the first step with action on broadcasts as a part of that agreement.

“The state government’s ban on on-ground advertising of live odds completes the picture and provides even more protection for children and at-risk gamblers. WA’s major stadiums have taken the proactive step of removing live odds early, but with the new ban on broadcasting live odds, bookmakers will be looking for any other avenue to advertise them - this legislation closes that window of opportunity.”

The amendments will need to be drafted and passed by Parliament before the necessary regulations are drawn up.

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