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The Odds Are Off! Gillard

By Oonagh Reidy | Monday | 27/05/2013

PM pulls odds spruiking off live TV.

Labor clamps down on betting spruiks, announcing live odds would be banned during sports broadcasts. 

Under new live odds code, all gambling broadcast ads will be banned during play. Banner adverts, sponsorship logos are also banned. 

The new measures will curb broadcast of live odds during a game, but still allow bookmakers or sports commentators to spruik betting odds before play, during breaks and after games.

PM Julia Gillard announced new rules on gambling over the weekend and said the ban will be enforced to broadcasters almost immediately. 

The surprise announcement comes days after Communications Minister Stephen Conroy was reported to have made a secret deal with free-to-air body Free TV, allowing betting companies to spruik the odds on live TV.

The new broadcast code also bans gambling companies' reps from being at or around the game venue. 

"The public have had enough of odds and betting promotions being shoved down their throats while listening to and watching sport," said Minister for Communications, Stephen Conroy. 

However, some anti-gambling campaigners say the new broadcast code are too soft and don't go far enough. 

Independent senator Nick Xenophon said, "For the prime minister to announce victory yesterday is a bit like a player walking off at halftime during a game and saying that they have already won," reports Fairfax.

Free TV CEO Julie Flynn said the new rules were "unprecedented " for TV networks, but is currently drawing up an alternative code. 

"These are unprecedented restrictions for broadcasters but we accept the Government has acted in response to community concern."

"The industry continues to hold the view that regulation in this area should apply consistently to all advertising and content distribution platforms, not just television." 

Free TV plans to submit a revised code within the next two weeks in line with the Prime Minister's announcement.

"The Government will impose a total advertising ban," Conroy warned, if the "intensity" of gambling ads (within allowed time slots), goes too far. 

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