A proposal by the Alliance for Gambling Reform could see Australian television networks a discount on the current license fee for each rejected betting advert; this is according to The Sydney Morning Herald. According to the plan, each network’s Commonwealth broadcasting license will be slashed by a $1 for every $1 not taken from a sports betting company.
This means that the plan could potentially give the broadcaster up to AUD150 million annually in discounts. Rohan Wenn, The Alliance’s Director of Strategy, informed the news outlet that the goal is to “get rid of the ads that are killing the codes we love.” Currently, the proposal has been shared with the Tasmanian Independent MP, Andrew Wilkle and South Australian Senate powerbroker, Nick Xenophon.
Both Wilkle and Xenophon is brushing off the gambling reform plan, a plan which unfortunately was dumped in 2010. However, the same plan will now make way for a ban on sports betting advertising including a maximum $1 bet on poker machines. Recently, Xenophon discussed the issue of commercial TV licensing as it was seen as unfair for a local TV broadcaster to pay fees when competitors such as Netflix don’t.
The lawmaker was cited saying: “Networks should not have to be out of pocket, it should be the online bookies.” However, there’s one tiny issue, TV networks are knocking the efforts to hinder their ability to advertise. The industry body representing Australia’s fee-to-air licensees, Free TV Australia, stated that currently, there are “extensive measures” in place which guarantee “community standards are met and that there is responsible advertising and promotion of betting services.”
A representative for Free TV Australia outlined that even though TV broadcasting license feeds need an urgent improvement to “maintain a strong free-to-air industry,” this shouldn’t be done in a way that the process will “not be linked to further content restrictions.”