Posts Tagged ‘Sportsbet’

With the 2017 AFL season nearly upon us, the sports betting agencies are gearing up for another onslaught of advertising across TV, Pay TV, radio, newspapers and the internet.  It really depresses me that our local game is now in bed with the betting agencies, so closely linked that the AFL relies on the money, while at the same time warning the AFL players of the dangers of gambling.  It was pleasing that some of the players have made comments about this irony recently, and with many AFL players now family men, they are also acutely aware of the responsibility they have to raise their own children in a gambling free environment – which is difficult to avoid when their kids are watching daddy on TV and there is a sports betting ad or odds update during every commercial break after a goal has been kicked.

GAMBLING advertising during AFL games is “out of control” according to Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood.

Wood took to Twitter during the telecast of Friday night’s AFLW game between the Bulldogs and Adelaide to raise his concerns and asked fans whether they agreed.

Wood’s tweet was retweeted more than 1000 times and had more than 2700 likes. Most of the replies were strong in their support, however some queried whether he would be prepared to play for less money if the gaming industry pulled its financial support for the game.

In a note attached to the tweet, he said the Bulldogs this week had their annual education session with the AFL, which he described as “both informative and well run.”

But he questioned why there was so much gambling advertising if gambling was such a big issue that it required an annual information session from the League.

“Why – as an industry – do we support the onslaught of gambling advertising you’re now faced with when watching an AFL game?” he wrote in the tweet.

“The obvious issue here is the effect this advertising has on children every time we pull on our boots. The big question is do we think the normalization of gambling – particularly to kids – is acceptable in this day and age?”

Friday night’s match was broadcast live on Fox Footy in Victoria, but the gambling industry advertises across all forms of live sport. The industry standard is that 10 per cent of advertising during live sport broadcasts can promote sports betting.

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Easton Wood

RESOLVING the issues surrounding gambling in the AFL won’t be easy but the conversation needs to happen, Geelong veteran Harry Taylor says.

Taylor said it was a concern to him that the eldest of his three children was able to name the gambling-related advertisements he saw when watching sport on TV.

However he said further education and discussion were critical if answers were to be found on the appropriate relationship between gambling and professional sport.

“When my eldest can name a lot of the ads on TV, that is a bit of a worry,” Taylor said.

“It’s certainly something that we need to keep talking about [and] educating people about. It’s not as simple as just cutting them out of the AFL.”

Western Bulldogs premiership skipper Easton Wood put the issue back on the agenda at the weekend when he questioned the level of gambling advertising during televised AFL games.

Wood wrote on social media: “Do we think the normalisation of gambling – particularly to kids – is acceptable in this day and age?”

Taylor said more education was needed for AFL players and society in general.

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$814 million was lost on sportsbetting in 2014-15, which equates to $2 230 137 being lost by punters on sports EVERY DAY in Australia.

So if you think you can beat the system then well done and good luck for the future, as the hard evidence clearly shows that a lot of money is being lost by people betting on sports.  With the odds structures always favouring the sports betting agencies, they are taking their cut whether you win or lose, and then with the fickle nature of sports results, picking a winner is still no easier.

The only recommendation I can make to those who enjoy a punt on sports is to bet smart, look for value and ‘good bets’ and seek help if you are losing more than you are winning beyond the budget you have set for yourself.

Beaner

 

Punters lose $23 Billion

Richard Willingham and Benjamin Preiss
Published: August 22, 2016 – 8:02PM

Australian punters lost nearly $23 billion last year, with a 30 per cent growth in sports betting helping to drive a continued rise in annual gambling losses.

New Australian Gambling Statistics figures show Australians lost $1241 per head in 2014-15, with poker machines still the biggest cause of punter losses with $11.6 billion lost, an increase of 4.9 per cent.

The continued growth of punter losses reignited calls for state and federal governments to get serious about tackling problem gambling through action on sports betting advertising and pokies.

The annual compilation of all state and territory data shows that total expenditure, or gambler losses, hit $22.7 billion in 2014-15, an increase of 7.7 per cent on the previous financial year.

There has been an explosion in sports betting, with the sector growing by 30.1 per cent in 12 months – with predictions the exponential growth will continue.

But sports betting is still one of the smallest segments of the market, worth $814 million, compared to pokies, racing ($2.8 billion), and Lotto ($1.7 billion).

Traditional betting on racing was the smallest growing sector at just 2.7 per cent.

The Victorian government on Sunday announced a ban on betting ads near schools and on public transport, while Canberra is moving to crack down on offshore bookies, as well as strengthen consumer protection for local online punters.

There are also renewed calls from Senator Nick Xenophon, the Greens and Tasmanian independent Andrew Wilkie for poker machine reform.

Gambling losses in total for Victoria hit almost $5.8 billion in the 2014-15, with poker machine losses surpassing $2.5 billion, propping up Treasury coffers by more than $1 billion.

In NSW, punter losses hit $8.9 billion, with $5.7 billion lost on the pokies alone, sports betting worth $162 million and racing $945 million.

Across the nation casinos raked in $5.1 billion of gambler losses, with Melbourne’s Crown Casino hauling in $1.8 billion.

Monash University Public Health expert Charles Livingstone said the growth in sports betting losses was “phenomenal”.

“It demonstrates why we need to better regulate promotion and advertising. Otherwise we’re facing big growth in gambling problems and harm from young men and women,” Dr Livingstone said.

“But the 600-pound gorilla of Australian gambling is still the pokies: $12 billion in losses per year, and still growing, year after year. If we’re worried by sports betting, we should be 13 times more worried about the pokies.”

Alliance for Gambling Reform spokesman Tim Costello said state governments could fix the “poker machine madness”

“[That is] if any of them really cared about the issue,” he said.

The Australian Gambling Statistics 2014-15 shows that in Victoria total per person gambling losses hit $1250. Pokies losses was the biggest segment with $558 lost per Victorian.

In NSW, per person losses were higher at $1517.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the rate of problem gambling in the online sector was three times that of other areas.

“Many Australians love to gamble but we have to make sure the gambling environment is a safe one – that’s why we are cracking down on illegal offshore gambling providers and introducing much strong consumer protection for online gambling,” Mr Tudge said.

Deakin University associate professor of public health, Samantha Thomas, suspected sports betting had grown on the back of heavy marketing.

“While not all losses equal harm, a lot of them do. It’s time for governments to start to seriously consider the factors that are contributing to these growing losses and implement effective evidenced-based strategies to reduce harm,” she said.

“This includes addressing the factors from industry, such as prolific advertising or high intensity poker machines, that may be contributing to harm. Clearly, ‘gamble responsibly’ strategies are not having an impact on reducing losses or preventing harm.”

Victorian Gaming Regulation Minister Marlene Kairouz said the state government shared the community’s concerns about problem gambling. She said the government had invested $150 million over four years to support problem gambling services.

This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/australian-punters-lose-23-billion-half-on-the-pokies-20160822-gqyiz5.html

As I have mentioned previously, nothing is for free, especially when it is from a sports betting agnecy.  Read the dot-points to see where the problem lies:

Notice

And yes, the PDF I was emailed did look this crappy.

Beaner

AAP
April 3, 2016 7:45 PM

WHATEVER the solution to the AFL’s vexed issue of betting, League chief executive Gillon McLachlan is adamant it is not prohibition.

McLachlan admits there is some unease within the AFL about whether the League and its clubs should benefit from betting revenue, given the well-known social problems of gambling addiction.

But he added that there was a balance on issues such as gambling advertising at matches.

McLachlan said the AFL had worked with TV broadcasters so there were no live odds shown while the game was being played.

“People’s views are different – a number of people have very strong views about wagering,” he told ABC radio on Sunday.

“I have a view that is not universal around the AFL … that things that are legal and part of our game, our job is then to contextualise that.

“I’m also real about wagering – we are better off having relationships with wagering companies than not because we get access to information.

“We can protect the integrity of our competition.”

McLachlan added the revenue from gambling sponsorship helped the game’s growth but said it was an issue debated “reasonably regularly” at League headquarters.

He also said there is evidence that betting habits are changing, rather than more people are gambling on sport.

“The data basically is that betting is not growing, it’s just skewing from racing across to sport,” he said.

“The runaway train that people are talking about is not reflected in the numbers, (they’re) referring to a change.

“Maybe that means there’s a different profile of the people who are betting.

“I’m not in denial of the problem … the solutions are not as easy as people would think.”

April 3, 2016

Farrah Tomazin

Sports betting agencies are adopting similar marketing techniques used by the powerful tobacco lobby to convince people that online gambling is an intrinsic part of Australian culture, new research suggests.

As the Turnbull government prepares to unveil reforms to crack down on foreign bookmakers, a study has found that betting giants are increasingly using gender stereotypes, fan rituals and images of mateship to “normalise” online wagering through highly targeted advertisements.

“The same playbook that we saw in tobacco and alcohol is happening again,” said Samantha Thomas, a public health academic at Deakin University, which led the study.

“It’s being depicted in advertising as though it’s part of Aussie culture – this idea that if you’re a true Aussie bloke, you go to the pub, you hang with your mates, you watch your sport and now you also gamble on sport as well. We should all be smarter about the way these companies seek to normalise their product.”

The study analysed 85 advertisements from 11 local and international gambling companies, including Ladbrokes, Sportsbet, William Hill, Bet365 and Crownbet.

It found that over three quarters of ads used imagery relating to sports fan rituals (such as images of fans cheering for their teams at stadiums or while watching TV); about half contained symbols of mateship (such as gambling being something you do with your friends at the pub); and about a quarter objectified women (who often appeared in the ads playing a subservient service role to men).

One Sportsbet ad for instance, described the bikini as “one of man’s greatest inventions” while a man poked the breast of a woman in her bathers as she sat by a pool. In another ad by Betfair, a James Bond-type character in a suit played table tennis with a woman wearing a bikini while the voiceover states: “When you have power, you can do what you want. With whoever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, as many different ways as you want.”

The research found 10 main types of “appeal strategies” were used by betting agencies to market sports wagering, including sexual imagery; thrill and risk; sports fan behaviours; mateship; winning; social status; adventure; patriotism; happiness; and power and control.

But experts say the ads should serve as a cautionary tale, particularly in the lead up to the Olympics, which Associate Professor Thomas warned could end up being “one of the biggest betting events the world has ever seen”.

The research is likely to add to concerns about cashed up bookmakers pumping millions of dollars into advertising and corporate sponsorship in the hope of securing a bigger foothold in the lucrative sports betting market.

However, Sportsbet chief financial officer Ben Sleep said he “categorically rejects any comparison of our business to those of tobacco companies.”

“It has been proven that every single cigarette does you harm whereas it is only a very small percentage of consumers who are at risk of developing an issue with wagering. Sportsbet is continually developing world’s best practice harm minimisation measures and strategies to help consumers enjoy our product safely,” Mr Sleep said.

Betting companies are trying to normalise online gambling as an everyday part of Australian culture.

Standard Media Index figures show that in the first two months of this year, the gambling industry had spent $27.3 million on advertising. And as The Age reported on Saturday, football fans have been bombarded with ads since the AFL season opened last week, with more than one in six ads promoting gambling during round one.

A spokesperson for the Australian Wagering Council, which represents the sportsbetting industry, said the ads informed consumers of the identity of licensed Australian-based providers so they could participate in “highly controlled and consumer protected” betting, while avoiding the dangers of illegal offshore operators.

“AWC members recognise community concern in relation to wagering advertising and agree that advertising should always conform to accepted social standards, and not promote harmful behaviour,” the spokesperson said.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sports-betting-giants-turn-to-sexual-imagery-and-mateship-to-normalise-gambling-20160401-gnwnen.html#ixzz44p541CdP

Well as luck would have it, all 3 games in the multi I highlighted yesterday actually ended in draws.

Liverpool v Arsenal (3-3)

Chelsea v West Brom (2-2)

Man City v Everton (0-0)

So for the $10 bet, the return would have been $643!  If you had made this bet and were to continue to follow this strategy, you now have 64 attempts to land another 27-1 shot to stay in front of the ledger, which is a great position to be in.

Not one to say I told you so, but one to say I will always tell you so; the math don’t lie and the probabilities don’t change regardless of what you think the outcome may be.  Favourites, sure things, certainties, they are all just educated guesses, and when everyone guesses the same, the odds are adjusted so the returns are always way under the actual odds you should be getting.  They are sucker bets and nothing else, and the sports bet companies make a fortune selling them as the most likely result.

So on the roulette wheel with 26 black slots and one yellow one (paying 5.64-1), my proposal is to change one of the black slots to red, and if the ball lands in the red slot, the return is 64.3-1.  As you can imagine, I will be putting my money on red each and every spin.

Beaner

EPL Trending Picks 140116

Sportsbet now provides a ‘Trending Picks’ quick multi on their homepage. This example is of 3 EPL soccer games to be played overnight.

3 games of soccer provides 27 possible results, so although the odds of 5.67 may seem appealing for these matches, they are way under the 27-1 you should be getting, all things being equal.

It seems in all likelihood that these results will eventuate, but it only takes a draw or an upset to do your dough.

Chelsea should win as they are finding some form again, City should win but Everton are the draw specialists with an inform striker in Lukaku, and Arsenal is pretty good value at 2.70 and with their form should also win. Liverpool at home though are no easy beats so there is no real guarantee of that result either.

As far as Sportsbet is concerned, they will cop the small payout if all 3 teams do actually win, as the odds are so much in their favour that over time, more often than not these 3-leg multis will fail.

As a punter always searching for a ‘good bet’, I would be looking at a payout of greater than 27-1 for this multi, which can be found in choosing 3 draws (4.50 x 4.33 x 3.30 = 64.30), or 2 draws and a City win (4.5 x 4.33 x 1.5 = 29.23).

You could argue that my 2 outcomes are less likely to occur based on the match ups, but I think any bet you put on is a gamble (there are no certainties unless it is fixed), so you might as well aim for a return that exceeds the amount of risk.

So with the $10 bet, you will win $56.70 with Sportsbet’s multi.  My 2 bets would return $643 or $292.30 if either happened to win.  I’m in no way saying they will win, they are just 2 of the 27 possible results.  There are also many other combinations that will return greater than 27-1 that could be backed if you felt there was going to be an upset with Chelsea or City (Liverpool and Arsenal were both at 2.70 when I checked).

The ‘Trending Picks’ multi they are promoting on the homepage is like them waving a ticket that says bet $10 on me and I’ll give you $56.70 if you win.  Fine print – this game has 1 chance in 27 of winning.

If I ran a casino and was paying out 5.67 on a game with 27 possible outcomes, I would make a lot of money over time.  Imagine a roulette wheel with 27 slots on it.  26 of these are black and one of them is yellow.  You are only allowed to bet on yellow and the return is 5.67-1.  To be fair I’d make it known that the yellow slot is slightly wider than all the others, so theoretically the ball should land in it more often.  Otherwise who would want to play?

Beaner

These figures show there are less people gambling, but more money being wagered, which indicates problem gambling must be on the rise.  Will the government ever intervene?

 

Why Australians are gambling more than ever

Date: December 7, 2015

Perry Williams – Senior Reporter

Len Ainsworth believes Australians will always keep a fixed portion of their disposable income available for gambling. Photo: Eddie Jim

Australia’s great love affair with gambling shows no sign of levelling off.

Buried in last week’s national accounts was the startling statistic that Australian punters bet a record $6.5 billion in the September quarter, equating to $1000 a year for every Australian.

Those numbers represent a 6.1 per cent jump to $24.1 billion on the same period in 2014 compared with average annual growth of just 3 per cent during the past decade.

Len Ainsworth’s pokies business has been growing rapidly for the past five years, but its share price undervalues its future prospects, Motley Fool reckons.

But getting to the bottom of what is driving such strong gambling growth in Australia is baffling the industry.

Participation rates among Australian adults have fallen sharply in the past 15 years. Almost every state recorded rates above 80 per cent at the turn of the century meaning four out of every five adults took part in some form of gambling at least once in the year 2000.

By 2014, that number had fallen to just 64 per cent or about two out of three adults gambling in the 12-month period.

Growth in online gambling is also surging every month.Growth in online gambling is also surging every month. Photo: Bloomberg

What has startled many in the industry is that while there are fewer gamblers, with each year that passes they are betting more heavily.

“We’ve seen a drop in participation in gambling on a per-capita basis, but the expenditure on gambling hasn’t dropped,” Australian Gambling Research Centre manager Anna Thomas said. “What we are seeing is a smaller group of people gambling more heavily.”

By far the biggest gambling spend still comes via bets placed on Australia’s 200,000 poker machines. Online gambling, and sports betting in particular, is the fastest-growing area.

''The number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical.''”The number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical.” Photo: Bloomberg

“There was a period through the 1990s when there was a great increase in gambling. That then tailed off in the 2000s as the community came to realise the risks involved,” Ms Thomas said. “But that doesn’t account for people who are still gambling and gambling at very high levels, particularly on pokie machines. There also hasn’t been a drop in problem-gambling issues. There’s a group of people in the population who are experiencing substantial harm.”

Billionaire Len Ainsworth, the 91-year-old who made his fortune from making poker machines, attributes the lift in the amount Australians are betting to “natural” levels of growth.

“There’s a very simple answer: over the last 62 years that I’ve been in the business each year, every year the amount of money that goes into gambling is directly related to the state of the economy,” Mr Ainsworth told Fairfax Media. “If the economy goes up 5 per cent, you can bet the amount gambled will go up by that or even more.”

He argues Australians will always keep a fixed portion of their disposable income available for gambling.

“As they get more money or shall we say funds that they can spend, they will spend the same proportion of gambling as they do on everything else,” Mr Ainsworth said. “There’s nothing surprising about those numbers going up 6 per cent because I reckon we’ve had at least that much inflation over the period.”

The Ainsworth Game Technology chairman said the growth in online gambling is also surging every month.

“We’re involved in social gaming and the number of people who spend money on games is only 10 per cent. But the number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical. We’ve got a huge number of people learning to gamble who’ve never gambled in their life for the most part and eventually, those people will try other forms of gambling too.”
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/why-australians-are-gambling-more-than-ever-20151207-glh52t.html#ixzz3tcpKIBL6
 

It’s the Spring Carnival again leading into the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday (looking forward to the day off work for a horse race!), and the sports betting agencies are going into overdrive with advertising and incentives to win the punter’s dollar.  As you may be aware, making money from horse racing is nearly imposibble unless you have inside contacts to get information the rest of us aren’t privvy to, but even then the returns for the number of horses in the field always leads to ‘Bad Bets’ being made, and over time, they will bleed you dry.

Beaner

Melbourne Cup spurs online gambling as exotic products push legal boundaries

Anne Davies
Published: October 31, 2015

For most of us it’s a chance for a once-a-year flutter in a sweepstake or a plain vanilla bet at the TAB. By the time the Spring Carnival, horse racing’s most prestigious season is over, Australians will have bet nearly $1.5 billion since August.

There’s a war raging for the gambling dollar as multinational online gambling houses slug it out for a share of a lucrative but overcrowded sports betting market, worth about $750 million in revenue, but with turnover 10 times that. On top of that, offshore operators are trying to lure Australians – the biggest gamblers in the world – to part with their cash.

It used to be that to place a bet punters had to wander down to the dingy TAB or make a phone call. But increasingly online betting companies are testing the boundaries of the law to offer all manner of exotic betting: things like in-race betting – which allows punters to place bets up to 20 seconds after the horses start running, rebates on horses coming second and third, and cash or rewards schemes and other inducements to open an online account.

Simultaneously, mobile phones have made gambling more accessible anywhere anytime, particularly to a new demographic – young men – who have grown up transacting virtually every aspect of their life on the phone. And the companies want their business.

Over the last decade several big multinational betting companies have entered the Australian market, taking on Tabcorp with online betting shops. British giant William Hill took over Tom Waterhouse last year. Ladbrokes, also from the Britain is here, as is Unibet from Europe. Sportsbet, the home-grown online operator, has been taken over by Irish company, Paddy Power.

Before the Melbourne Cup, the online betting companies are offering all manner of inducements. For example William Hill is offering $150 free if you open a new account with $50, and Ladbrokes is offering up to $250.

The fine print says that the stake must be turned over at least two times before it can be withdrawn and because of laws prohibiting inducements in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, they are not available in those states. But by the time a punter realises he is ineligible, he will probably have signed up for an account.

Gambling is also the fastest-growing category of advertising on TV. Until 2009 advertising by interstate gambling companies was banned by NSW and Victorian legislation. Most online companies are based in the Northern Territory for tax reasons. Companies allegedly relied on dubious practices such as giving journalists free credit in their accounts to mention their name. But in 2009 the High Court ruled the laws were a restraint of trade and since then it’s been open slather – particularly during sports events – even those televised at times when children are watching.

In the first nine months of this year, from January to September, the industry spent $107.6 million on TV ads alone, up 38 per cent on the same period in 2014, according to Standard Media Index, a company which measures advertising spends. And those figures don’t include the massive spend for the Spring Carnival and the Melbourne Cup.

Gambling has become a lifeline for free-to-air television. Standard Media Index chief executive Jane Schultz says gambling ads have rocketed from the 15th-largest category in 2014 to eighth.

The companies are also active on social media. They tweet to the football codes’ hashtags and post funny shareable videos on YouTube, featuring their logos.

But anti-gambling campaigners warn that online gambling, and the way it is being marketed, has dramatically raised the danger for young people.

In researching this story, I discovered that my 19-year-old and most of her friends have online gambling accounts. “Of course, everyone does,” she said, as if I had asked about Instagram. “It saves you having to go to the TAB.”

But it is not so benign as Instagram. Deakin University researcher Samantha Thomas says online gambling effectively puts a gambling venue, open 24/7, in your pocket. The marketing for online gambling is targeted towards young men.

One campaign showed legendary Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on the couch with two blokes, wearing green and gold scarves as the national anthem played and pulling out their phones to bet on their team.

“The message was ‘betting is patriotic and entirely normal’,” Thomas says. “It’s a step in the normalisation of betting among young men. They are shown in peer groups, and sports betting is being directly linked with common symbols surrounding the sport.”

Once signed up, online gamblers can expect regular correspondence by email or even phone calls if they are valuable enough.

A few months ago the online site New Daily published a first-person piece, the confessions of a “retention officer“. He described how his job was to ring people who had been inactive and offer free bets or credit. Often he would find himself convincing someone who was desperately trying to give up their habit.

South Australian senator Nick Xenophon, a long-standing campaigner for robust gambling controls, says online gambling and the way it is being marketed with matching free bets to get people to open accounts, free credit and saturation advertising aimed at young people, threatens to spawn a new epidemic of problem gamblers.

Because of its immediacy, online gambling, is as addictive as poker machines, he says.

“I am worried we will have a generation of young men who won’t be able to buy a car, go overseas, buy a house,” he says. “The scars of that will be long-lasting and have huge social consequences.”

In September the federal government finally initiated a long-promised inquiry into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. It will be undertaken by former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell. Written in 2000, it’s clear the act is struggling to keep up with technology.

Take for example the issue of in-play betting – placing bets once a race or event has started – which is legal in TABs and over the phone but illegal online.

The policy reason behind the ban, Monash University researcher Charles Livingstone says, is that in-play betting online, unlike making a bet at the TAB, is instantaneous and continuous, offering a similar intense emotional experience as pokies. Punters can literally see the odds changing.

William Hill, headed by Tom Waterhouse locally, along with another British rival Bet365 have been operating a controversial service. It requires punters to keep their smartphone microphone on, while placing bets online. This they say, makes it a phone service, within the law.

A few months ago, the Australian Communications and Media Authority, which has responsibility for internet services, referred William Hill to the Australian Federal Police after a complaint. This week the AFP said it would not investigate, based on resourcing issues, leaving the service’s legality still up in the air.

“This is a great outcome for Australian punters who will no longer be forced to bet In-Play via illegal offshore bookmakers which pose a huge threat to both consumer protection and the integrity of Australian sport,” Waterhouse said.

“Throughout the development and before launching In-Play, William Hill took prudent steps to ensure In-Play is a ‘telephone betting service’ that is 100 per cent legal and compliant under the Interactive Gambling Act,” he said.

“What sets William Hill apart as a company is its willingness to push the boundaries through technology and innovation to give its customers something much better.”

But whether the review will delve into this and other more pressing social questions arising out of the growth of online services remains to be seen.

The review makes it clear that its primary focus is illegal offshore based services which ignore the Australian laws. As well as offering prohibited casino games like roulette and pokies online, they sidestep licensing, tax and harm-minimisation codes.

“It is estimated that offshore wagering is a $1 billion annual illegal business in Australia,” then social services minister Scott Morrison said when he announced the review.

Xenophon says that there is no doubt that the illegal offshore sites have caused “enormous hardship”. “People have lost huge amounts of money especially to operators based in Gibraltar,” he says.

But that’s only part of the issue, he says, as evidenced by the 2013 report by the Department of Communications into online gambling and the submissions of Financial Counselling Australia.

The promotion and marketing, provision of free credit, unfettered by the consumer credit legislation, offering inducements and other aspects of the local online industry also need to be tackled, he says.

The fourth term of reference of the review appears to provide scope to look at locally based online gambling. It says the review will look at “the efficacy of approaches to protect the consumer – including warnings, information resources, public information campaigns and any other measures, regulatory or otherwise, that could mitigate the risk of negative social impacts on consumers”.

Interestingly, there is no mention of advertising, and The Australian has reported the TV networks argued vociferously against it being specifically included.

A spokesman for the new minister, Christian Porter, said term 4 was deliberately broad and what was anticipated is that it will draw out issues and inform the formation of future gambling policy.

But others, like Livingstone are more sceptical, particularly as the inquiry is meant to report by December 18.

He’s also worried by the choice of O’Farrell to head the review, pointing out that both sides of politics in NSW are close to Clubs NSW and the Australian Hotels Association, both big players in the gambling industry. In addition, O’Farrell also granted the second casino licence to James Packer’s Crown, which is also an emerging player in online gambling.

“What worries me greatly is that in order to tackle people being hoodwinked by illegal offshore operators, there will be a recommendation to deregulate to allow Australian online services and clubs to provide casino-style games.”

Tabcorp, which as the incumbent is feeling the pressure from the new competition, is backing a broad review and calling for it to explore not only offshore but onshore online gambling and the tsunami of advertising.

“This review presents the perfect opportunity to define the type of wagering industry we want in Australia and address the inconsistencies,” chairwoman Paula Dwyer said.

“We believe there needs to be a single rule across the country in relation to the offering of credit by bookmakers. Northern Territory-licensed corporate bookmakers can offer their clients lines of credit, although TABs cannot. We believe the easiest way to address this is to introduce a single rule preventing wagering operators from acting as lenders and providing credit to customers. Nationally consistent advertising and inducement laws would reduce confusion for customers and wagering operators,” she says.

“We agree with the community that it is too much and would support sensible solutions to reduce the extent of the advertising.”

The Australian Wagering Council, which represents a number of the big online bookmakers including William Hill and Betfair says it anticipates interested parties making submissions to the O’Farrell review that may also raise issues that address the broader regulation of the Australian online wagering industry.

The Australian Wagering Council considers the Australian regulatory environment confusing for both customers and operators.

“The promotion and delivery of responsible gambling and harm-minimisation measures is a key aspect of good regulation. The Australian Wagering Council has long acknowledged the importance of commercially sensible regulation of advertising, product offers and inducements and deferred settlement facilities,” it says.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/melbourne-cup-spurs-online-gambling-as-exotic-products-push-legal-boundaries-20151030-gkmmm0.html

With the AFL and NRL finals upon us, along with the rugby world cup, and the horse racing spring carnival just around the corner, the sports betting companies have gone into over drive with their advertising campaigns to try and get the average punter to bet with them. Any number of money back specials and bonus bets and best odds are being promoted on TV, radio, in newspapers and on the internet and in many smart phone apps, and virtually around the clock. This article claims the sports betting companies are fighting for a share of the $21 billion wagered by Aussies on sports betting and racing each year. That is a serious amount of money. You could argue that the competition for our gambling dollar is giving punters better odds and better deals, but the reality is the majority of gamblers will be losing money in the long run; a very large majority. The sports betting companies have done a great job in ‘normalising’ gambling, where betting on sports now seems to go hand in hand with watching the sports themselves and this to me as the greatest issue as the next generations of young Australians growing up are just going to accept sports betting as a part of life (much like the baby boomers and subsequent generations of TV watchers were conditioned to accept advertising as a part of the TV watching experience).

The bottom line is the state and federal governments are doing very little to slow down the growth of the gambling industry in Australia, mainly due to the amount of money they are earning from taxation. I think the freedom to be able to have a bet on a sporting event if you choose to is great, and many of us enjoy this freedom as a bit of escapism. I can only imagine where things are going to be in 10 years time though if the sports betting companies are left unchecked in their expansion in to the Australian way of life through advertising and their constant hard sell.

Beaner

Sports betting companies spend big on ads but the regulator is watching

Natalie O’Brien and Perry Williams
Published: September 27, 2015

It has catchy music, glamorous young things enjoying glitzy nightclub settings, and promises that every time you bet you will earn reward points to redeem in resorts, hotels, restaurants, casinos and bars.  Viewers of the expensive television marketing campaign are enticed to “transform your betting experience wherever you are in Australia”.

The only trouble with this attention-grabbing promotion being shown in prime time on commercial channels and on social media is that the James Packer-controlled CrownBet​running the ads may be in breach of the NSW state gaming regulations.

The ads are not the only ones being shown that offer inducements or rewards for gambling. There is a war on between sports betting companies for the gambling dollar – which is estimated at more than $21 billion a year –  and a number of marketing campaigns have caught the attention of the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing.

A spokesman for OLGR said the CrownBet promotion first came to their attention as part of its monitoring program.

“OLGR has advised the company that its promotion is suspected of being in breach of NSW’s Racing Administration Regulation 2012 by offering inducements to gamble and failing to exclude NSW residents,” said the spokesman. “The company will be provided with an opportunity to respond prior to a final decision on regulatory action being taken.”

While the investigation is under way, the advertisements are still running in prime time TV slots.  CrownBet is one of a number of companies under investigation by OLGR over regulatory breaches, however the watchdog won’t reveal which other companies are being looked at. A spokesman for CrownBet declined to comment.

The maximum fine for companies under the NSW regulations is $5500. It pales in comparison to the amount being spent on advertising for gambling. The Standard Media Index (SMI) shows that in the year to August $149.1 million was spent on gambling ads, up from $104.5 million for the same period last year and more than double the $68.7 spent for the same period in 2012.

The index also shows most money is spent on metropolitan television and on subscription television, although the outlay on digital media is rising.

NSW Greens MP Dr John Kaye says the fines handed out to companies found to be breaching regulations are not high enough and are seen by the industry as just a cost of doing business. Kaye says he believes the advertising campaigns show a callous disregard for problem gamblers.

“It is a high-profit business where the revenue is increasingly focused on problem gambling and websites are specifically targeting young adult males who are known to be most susceptible to reward programs.”

Up to 500,000 Australians are at risk of becoming or are problem gamblers, according to an Australian government problem gambling website. It estimates the social cost of problem gambling to be $4.7 billion.

Some of the industry players offering rewards and bonuses include the Tom Waterhouse company, which is offering punters $100 bonus credits if they deposit $30 in a start-up account. Although this ad does say it excludes NSW, Victorian, West Australian and South Australian residents.

Rival firm Sportsbet also is offering a promotion where you deposit $25 and get a $75 bonus bet. It too says this excludes NSW, Vic, WA and SA.

International betting giant William Hill has kick-started a promotional campaign with TV spots offering money back to gamblers. The “own the moment” campaign says William Hill’s offer of money back means “real money – dollars in your account to do with whatever you like”.

Tim Costello, the chairman of the Australian Churches Gambling Taskforce, says the marketing campaigns are predatory and unacceptable. He says parents are outraged that they can’t protect their kids from this advertising.

“In a sense, we are essentially conditioning young people to believe that this is normal,” he says.

One of the pioneers of internet gambling in Australia, Matthew Tripp, says the surge of competition in the market also reflects a demand from punters to bet on their smart phones instead of visiting their local TAB.

“It’s a shift from on course, retail and telephone to online,” says Tripp, who now runs CrownBet.

The barrage of advertising gives the impression of a booming wagering market, but the bookmaker says that’s not quite the case.

“The awareness is heightened but certainly the gambling dollar hasn’t gone through the roof. The online market as a whole is growing at a rate of between 10 per cent to 15 per cent year on year but the overall sector is tracking in line with the economy.”

Tripp rode the market better than most. After shunning university to follow his father Alan into bookmaking, the 40-year-old made his fortune selling Sportsbet to Irish wagering giant Paddy Power for $115 million.

He then switched to a new online betting start-up, BetEasy, before James Packer’s Crown Resorts took control of the firm and rebadged it as CrownBet, with Tripp as its boss.

CrownBet caused a stir in sporting circles in August after signing a deal to broadcast AFL matches online via its apps through 2016.

Tripp says it reflects the huge popularity of the footy code – along with horse racing – among its punters, but acknowledges the crowded market makes it increasingly hard to stand out.

“Everything has a tipping point and I think we are just about to reach ours in the online wagering space,” he says. “You can certainly over-saturate in the market and I think you’ll find some of the European operators are certainly doing that. You need to pick that market and turn the dial up or down in line with consumer sentiment.”

By offering a rewards program linked to Crown’s hotel and casino offerings, Tripp says CrownBet is focusing on loyalty rather than instant rewards and credit offers.

“The offerings that are out there at the moment are very homogenous and frankly it’s a bit of a race to the bottom. Bet with us and win lose or draw you will gain something for your loyalty rather than getting your money back if your horse runs eighth in a race.”

The next few months will go a long way to defining the success of CrownBet and its rivals performance this year with the all-important spring horse racing season and footy finals generating a huge share of the firms’ annual revenue.

Executives like Tripp are also keeping an eagle eye on Canberra.

Former NSW premier Barry O’Farrell has been handed the task of reviewing the federal government’s outdated Interactive Gambling Act which governs the way technology can be used within the industry.

O’Farrell’s review, due in mid December, will also weigh how to provide more safeguards for the industry, given problem gambling rates are three times higher among online gamblers than traditional betting methods.

Gamblers will also be looking for guidance from the review over the controversial in-play betting system, promoted by international players William Hill and Bet 365, which allows punters to bet live on sports via their smart phones.

You can bet on the outcome of an event in Australia after it has begun but only via the phone or in person. However, British company William Hill claims that as long as punters keep their smart phone microphone on, it still adheres to the rule that live bets during sporting events are made by phone only.

Tripp says he wants to see a level playing field for all operators.

“The European operators continue to tread a very fine line in the way they conduct their business. We need to do everything in our power to ensure the government and obviously our customer base are happy with the middle ground that is found within the review.”

In 2013, the Department of Communications report into the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 called for industry to establish an advertising code of conduct to ensure advertising is not contrary to community standards and expectations.

A spokeswoman for the Australian Wagering Council, the peak body that represents the online sports betting and wagering industry in Australia including current members Bet365, Sportsbet, Unibet, the William Hill Group Australia and Betfair, says they are fully supportive of the recommendation and it is committed to working with industry, regulators and the wider community to ensure a code is developed sooner rather than later.

But she says that any discussion on the impact of advertising on problem gambling should note the recent report from Gambling Research Australia, The Marketing of Sports Betting and Racing, which concedes it is not possible to determine whether a causal relationship exists between problem gambling and exposure to gambling advertising in general, or to wagering and sports-related gambling advertising in particular.

“It’s important to note that legislation in each state and territory regulates the use of inducements and AWC members comply with those regulations. Statutory prohibition on the use of inducements in some states has seen a natural decline in the use of inducements across the wagering sector,” she says.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, the chairman of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform that reported in 2013, says the proliferation of sports betting is a serious cause for concern.

“People are especially sick of wall-to-wall gambling advertising, particularly during G-rated television periods. Moreover the problem is only getting worse with the advertising spending going up and the amount being waged increasing dramatically,” he says.

Wilkie says the committee released a report into sports betting two years ago which provides a number of recommendations but both the “current and former governments have failed to act or do anything meaningful to address the problem”.

“For a start gambling advertising needs to be reined in and stopped altogether during daytime TV. Inducements and credit must be banned. And effective harm minimisation measures should be mandated.

“The current government inquiry into online gambling, including sports betting, is a sham seeing as three of the four terms of reference are only to do with protecting Australian online gambling businesses from their overseas competitors.”

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/sports-betting-companies-spend-big-on-ads-but-the-regulator-is-watching-20150925-gjv6xa.html