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Melbourne Stadium Bans Gambling Odds During Games

25 August 2011 by admin

australia_worldIn a severe blow to the sports betting industry, a major sports company in Melbourne, Australia has banned live display of odds during the games. The ban will take place as the current contract between the Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust and Betfair ends.

The Melbourne Cricket Ground Trust (MCG), a government-run company, manages the Melbourne Cricket Ground, a stadium seating over 100,000 people and home to many Australian Football League games, cricket mages, and more. It is the tenth-largest stadium in the world.

Needless to say, the stadium is a major advertising venue for Betfair. During the football and cricket matches, Betfair advertises on the electronic scoreboard, showing the odds for the current and other games and giving the phone number to call and make a bet. While this is smart and successful advertising for the betting company, gambling opponents criticize it because people who go to the game simply to watch the sport are being subjected to ads telling them to bet on their team. That includes minors, who aren’t normally exposed to gambling advertising. Once the current contract with Betfair expires at the end of the year, no betting company will be allowed to advertise real-time odds during the game.

“We’re not against gambling companies promoting their services in a general sense,” said MCG Trust Chairman John Wylie. “It’s just that live odds being displayed are something we think is not healthy, and something we would like to see ended at the MCG.” The ban was enacted in part on the recommendation of Dr. Charles Livingstone, a prominent professor at Monash University, the largest in Australia. Livingstone strongly opposes in-game live odds advertising, calling it a “Trojan Horse” for the industry.

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