Monday May 6,2013 : AUSTRALIAN LABOR MP WANTS AN END TO GAMBLING ADVERTS
Proposes radical changes to existing laws
Stephen Jones MP, a member of Australia's ruling political party and the government's gambling reform committee, has revealed that he is working on a draft bill which could ban all gambling advertising – including those for online sports betting firms – and live odds updates during television and radio broadcasts and at sports stadia.
Stephen proposes to exclude horse and greyhound racing from his drastic measure, and is currently rallying support among Labor Party colleagues for his private members bill.
The MP told The Age newspaper Monday: ”The chance doesn't come along often to do something that is absolutely right, that takes on vested interests, that's in the public interest. I think we should grab it.”
Jones is at odds with the more senior Communications Minister Steve Conroy, who appears to be backing a policy of implementing a new television code of conduct that would allow gambling ads during sports broadcasts and restrict live odds updates to breaks in play. Jones feels that these measures do not go "nearly far enough."
Jones has written to NRL chief executive David Smith and AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou about excessive sports betting advertising, asking them to intervene after he received "widespread complaints" from his constituents about excessive advertising.
”Most people I have spoken to do not want to see the sport of football become a vehicle for gambling in the same way as horse racing is,” he wrote to the sports body chiefs. ”They are particularly concerned about the promotion of gambling in the presence of children who are keen followers of the game.”
He is supported by Josh Frydenberg, a Victorian Liberal who sits on the gambling reform committee, who recently told an AFL witness at the Melbourne hearing in March: ”I just think you have not got the balance right. Personally I think there is too much advertising and promotion. I think it is invidious to the sport and I think it is affecting younger people who are exposed to it.”
Earlier on Monday, Frydenberg supported threats made by Opposition leader Tony Abbot, who warned that he would impose a TV code of conduct for sports betting organisations if the industry did not do so itself.