Nick Xenophon's proposed bill to ban gambling ads during sports broadcasts in doubt

Nick Xenophon's proposed bill to ban gambling ads during sports broadcasts in doubt

Nick Xenophon's proposed bill to ban gambling ads during sports broadcasts in doubt

Updated 29 March 2017, 20:15 AEDT

Gambling advertising during sports broadcasts will continue after Nick Xenophon's private member's bill to ban the practice failed to win over a Senate Estimates Committee.

If you are a parent who was hoping those incessant gambling ads would be banned during sporting broadcasts, and were pinning your hopes on senator Nick Xenophon's private member's bill to ban them — well, bad luck.

The bill has been all but killed off by a Senate Estimates Committee, with the Coalition and Labor recommending against the reforms.

The senator and his NXT party had proposed the ban, as well as the establishment of a national regulator and a national self-exclusion register for people struggling with a gambling habit.

Senator Xenophon's private bill is separate to the Federal Government's Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill, which was introduced last year after a review by former New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell.

The Senate Committee concluded the measures were not necessary because of the Government's reforms.

Senator Xenophon "vehemently rejects" the committee's recommendations, saying "the current (regulatory) framework, even with the recent Government amendments, is woeful".

NXT had a win last week when its amendment to the Government's bill, banning bookies from offering a line of credit, passed the Senate with the support of Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers.

But it now needs to go back to the House of Representatives where it is expected to fail.

And just last week, the Senate knocked back Senator Xenophon's attempt to insert some of his proposals into the Government's bill, including the ban on gambling ads, and the establishment of a national regulator.

Support groups' submissions

The Australian Psychological Society made a submission to the Senate inquiry, and said "the proliferation of gambling advertising, particularly sports betting, is positioning gambling as an integral and 'normal' part of enjoying sports, and is paving the way for young Australians to become the new generation of problem gamblers".

The Gambling Impact Society of NSW told the inquiry that gambling advertisements often created "triggers" for those already struggling with gambling problems.

Broadcasters and sports-betting organisations argued against a ban, saying people under 18 "comprise a very small proportion of the audience for live sports events on television".

They won the argument.

And with a bounty flowing to both, the betting ads do not look set to stop anytime soon.