Subject: Coalition plan to ban gambling adverts during live sport broadcasts
Peter Stefanovic: Well Opposition Leader, Peter Dutton, has proposed restrictions on gambling ads before, during televised sporting matches similar to tobacco products. He is calling on the PM to support the ban but Anthony Albanese is not directly commenting because there is a review underway. Joining us live now, Shadow Communications Minister David Coleman. Good to see you, David.
David Coleman: Morning.
Peter Stefanovic: So just elaborate on these changes that you want to see come into effect?
David Coleman: Yes, sure. So, what we want to see is no gambling ads during sporting events from one hour before the start of the event to one hour after and the reason is because footy time, should be family time. Families and kids should be able to enjoy a NRL game or an AFL game or whatever, without talking about multis or the odds of the first try scorer or any of those sorts of things. Because it’s really intrusive, frankly, and we don’t think that’s right, and we think it should change and that’s why Peter made that announcement.
Peter Stefanovic: So why did you settle on one hour? What evidence is there to support that that would enforce change?
David Coleman: What that effectively does, is it captures the whole build up to the game because that’s what a lot of the issues are at the moment. So, if you’re watching say State of Origin, the highest rating event in Queensland and New South Wales every year. In the build up to that event, you’re sitting there with your kids watching the game, and on comes the betting representative to talk about the odds of the first try scorer or multis or whatever. And that’s a really intrusive disruption when families are sitting there and just wanting to enjoy the game.
Peter Stefanovic: What about the one hour after?
David Coleman: Well, you also get the after game show as well. At the moment, five minutes after the game, you can start showing the ads again. And so, during that time, if there’s any analysis or anything after the game, we don’t think there should be gambling advertising during that.
Peter Stefanovic: So, is that the same for sponsorships too?
David Coleman: Yeah well, anything that’s an ad that appears from the broadcaster. So, it includes things like crosses to betting companies.
Peter Stefanovic: So, this isn’t new, right? And there is a review underway at the moment but why didn’t you do anything for the nine years in which you were in power?
David Coleman: That’s not accurate, Peter, we actually did make some changes on sports betting advertising while we were in power. So back in 2018, you might recall say if you go back 10 years, there used to be gambling ads all the way through the game, like literally almost minute by minute. So, 2018, we stopped that and the laws we put in place said effectively that you could have advertising before the game, after the game and in breaks in different, in some circumstances.
Peter Stefanovic: Right.
David Coleman: But what we’re saying now is there shouldn’t be any ads during the game, or before or after. And that’s because as time has gone by these ads have become more and more intrusive. And it’s something I feel strongly about. It’s something Peter Dutton feels strongly about and I think it’s something that a lot of people in the community feel strongly about.
Peter Stefanovic: So how does that mesh with advertising that’s all over jerseys of NRL or AFL clubs?
David Coleman: Yeah. Well, there’s other regulatory issues that involve the states principally, about what happens at grounds and so on. And we’d obviously look at any proposals that people brought forward.
Peter Stefanovic: Right, because the UK has done this when it comes to their football clubs. They’re actually moving towards banning online spending agencies, betting agencies from the front of their jerseys. So, would you support a ban here?
David Coleman: Well look, we would look at any proposals that came forward. But what we have committed to this week is ads during the game, before the game, after the game. We think it’s wrong, and we think we should be banned.
Peter Stefanovic: Okay, what about celebrities targeting younger gamblers when it comes to ads. We’ve seen it here with Shaq and one of the sporting agents or sport betting agencies here too. The UK has moved towards a similar ban again, a lot of this is not just here. It’s overseas too. So, is that another area where you’d like to see changes?
David Coleman: Well look again, Peter, I mean, the policy we’ve announced is very clear, and it’s about sporting events. But as Peter Dutton said over the weekend, there’s a lot of community concern about gambling advertising, and we’ll look at other proposals if people bring them forward. But the thing that we’re particularly focused on because we think it’s the single, frankly, worst instance of gambling advertising, is the ads around the game.
Peter Stefanovic: It’s not just one, though, I mean, when you’re making reform, you’ve got to choose a whole bunch of different areas, though. There’s not just going to be one small area that needs to be changed here. It’s so broad and so widespread, does it need more work?
David Coleman: Well again Peter, we’ll look at proposals that people bring forward, but this is the worst aspect of it. This is a thing that as a MP, gets raised a lot. And it’s something that frankly, as a parent, when I’m sitting there with my son, watching an NRL game and 10 minutes before it’s all about what odds is Daly Cherry-Evans to score a try.
Peter Stefanovic: I agree. I’m not a wowser, I mean, I don’t mind a bet here and there and a lot of my friends do as well.
David Coleman: And me too. I don’t mind a bet either, but I don’t think they should be intruding…
Peter Stefanovic: But are they out of control, are they out of control?
David Coleman: Well, I don’t think that it should be intruding into the games in the way it is. And I think that’s wrong. And Peter Dutton has a very strong view on this and he took a very strong stand on this in his Budget Reply Speech because he believes it’s an important issue, and he’s absolutely right.
Peter Stefanovic: All right David, good to see you.
David Coleman: Thanks Peter.
The Hon. David Coleman MP
Shadow Minister for Communications
Federal Member for Banks