The Australian government has been looking to cut back on the gambling problems that have swept across the country in recent years. With millions of residents having open access to betting, the government has been searching for ways to safeguard the industry while decreasing the amount of problem gambling cases in Australia.
This week, the government and Free TV Australia have proposed a new amendment that would stop all on-air betting odds from appearing on sports telecasts. Currently, odds can be displayed throughout sporting matches on television, encouraging residents to bet on the remainder of the event.
Free Australia TV is seeking public opinion on the proposed move, but they have received strong support already. The broadcasting company is hoping to work alongside the government to make the viewing experience more enjoyable, and less stressful for sports fans. The elimination of the live betting odds is one way they feel they can accomplish that goal.
“The proposed amendments to the Code reflect an agreement reached between the government and commercial radio, commercial television, and subscription broadcasters to reduce and control the promotion of live odds during the broadcast of live sporting events,” said Free TV Australia, in a released statement.
Tom Waterhouse, an Australian bookmaker, sparked controversy and induced complaints when he appeared on a rugby telecast offering live odds. Waterhouse was also giving his own commentary on the match that was being played, prompting fans and casual viewers to voice their displeasure.
Over the past several years, the Australian government has been actively working to reduce betting in Australia. Legislators have been debating various safeguards for land-based casinos. Among the safeguards proposed were an elimination of ATM machines inside casinos, as well as wagering monitor systems on each slot machine.
The gaming industry has pushed back against the stricter restrictions, but the government has been adamant about cleaning up an industry where thousands of people have reported having a gambling problem.