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Free TV opens discussions on gambling ad restrictions during live sport

Free TV Australia has opened consultations on draft provisions which could prevent gambling advertising from appearing during live sporting events.

The new provisions to the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice include a ban on the broadcasting of ads related to betting and gambling during live sports matches –  during both scheduled and unscheduled breaks – from 5:00am to 8:30pm.

Gambling ads may be banned during live sports coverage

It also suggests a ban on gambling related ads from five minutes prior to, until five minutes after the conclusion of a match.

Separate rules will apply for extended sports events.

The provisions are part of the Turnbull Government’s media reforms package, which was passed last month.

Free TV Acting CEO Pamela Longstaff said the industry body was committed to meeting community expectations around gambling advertising.

“These significant restrictions will prevent gambling advertising being broadcast during live sports at times that children are likely to be watching,” Longstaff said.

“Of course, to be effective, these safeguards must apply consistently across all platforms including online.”

The draft gambling provisions are open for comment until December 15.

Comments submitted must be approved before the Australian Communications and Media Authority  before the provisions comes into effect in March 2018.

The consultation for the television industry comes two weeks after Commercial Radio Australia commenced its consultations on the same matter.

Earlier this year, a study by Clarity Strategic Research suggested gambling advertising had “crossed a line”, with betting firm representatives being positioned as equal to sports experts.

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