On the same day (7 February 2013) that Australian professional
sport has been associated with drugs, match fixing and organised
crime by the Australian Crime Commission (ACC), the Australian
Senate has passed a motion for a joint select committee to inquire
into gambling reform. The committee's report is due on 16 May
The inquiry has been announced amid fears of creating future
generations of problem gamblers and jeopardising the integrity of
Australian sport. When announcing the inquiry, concerned Senators
cited the bombardment of betting odds and gambling advertisements
on adults and children alike. Combined with the ACC's report on
drugs, match fixing and organised crime, focus has turned to what
measures the Australian Government will take in response.
Terms of reference
The committee is to report on:
In-ground and broadcast advertising
The role of sponsorship alongside traditional forms of
In-game promotion and the integration of gambling into
commentary and coverage
Exposure to, and influence on, children
Contribution to the prevalence of problem gambling, and
mechanisms to reduce that prevalence
The effect on the integrity of, and public attitudes to,
The importance of spot betting and its potential effect on the
integrity of sporting codes
The effect of inducements to gamble as a form of promotion of
gambling services, and their impact on problem gambling.
What could happen
The ACC's report has already had an immediate and
sensational impact on the business of sports and gambling in
Australia. We consider that regulatory changes are almost certain
to follow. While the Minister for Sport, Kate Lundy has flagged
that the Government does not support a total ban on sports betting,
with the current focus on the links between sports, organised
crime, match fixing and gambling, those changes could be
The committee's findings could also have serious
ramifications for Australian sporting organisations such as Cricket
Australia, the Australian Football League and Australian Rugby
Union, who currently benefit from extensive partnerships with
official betting agencies. While official betting partners help
re-invest in professional sport, there are fears from anti-gambling
campaigner Senator Nick Xenophon that Australian sporting
organisations are beginning to actively promote betting by placing
live odds on their websites during games. This will no doubt be a
focus for the committee.
How we can assist
The inquiry will be accepting confidential submissions by
interested parties but no closing date has yet been set for these.
Please let us know if you would like us to assist.
This publication is intended as a general overview and
discussion of the subjects dealt with. It is not intended to be,
and should not used as, a substitute for taking legal advice in any
specific situation. DLA Piper Australia will accept no
responsibility for any actions taken or not taken on the basis of
DLA Piper Australia is part of DLA Piper, a global law firm,
operating through various separate and distinct legal entities. For
further information, please refer to www.dlapiper.com
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