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 Commented: What are the odds on an end to televised horse racing?...

TV horse racing fearful of a British government review of the rules for daytime advertising for gambling which is currently allowed during daytime televised sport


Link Here 26th October 2016
bookies odds reportThe UK's horse racing administrators are preparing to fight tooth and nail to stop any plan by the government to limit TV gambling advertisements. The possibility of a pre-watershed ban on the adverts was floated in Friday's edition of The Times and, while the report was speculative and anonymously sourced, it was enough to send a shiver through senior figures, both on the turf and beyond.

Among those feeling anxious were the executives who negotiated a 30m, four-year deal to televise racing on ITV from 2017. The value of racing's terrestrial rights depends almost entirely on the huge sums that bookmakers will pay to advertise in the breaks. A ban on daytime advertising would blow a hole in ITV's business plan as wide as Newmarket Heath, and reduce the value of the rights in future deals almost to zero.

In fact the entire Channel 4/ITV racing programme itself could be considered as one long promotion for gambling.

The digital channel At The Races also depends heavily on bookmaker advertising. Other sports, football in particular, could also see a drop in the value of their TV rights, but only racing has a fundamental link to betting as a primary revenue stream and a daytime ban would be catastrophic for the sport's finances.

According to Friday's report, possible changes to the rules on gambling adverts will be added to a review of fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs), the controversial gaming machines that have turned what were once betting shops into outlets for roulette and other fixed-margin games which were once restricted to casinos.

Racing will also be concerned that any compromise proposal that imposed an early-evening cut-off point for gambling adverts would bar bookies from advertising during terrestrial racing coverage, but leave much of the televised Premier League and Champions League football schedule on Sky Sports and BT Sport relatively unaffected.

Spiked logoOffsite Comment: Is banning gambling ads censorship? You bet

26th October 2016. See article from spiked-online.com By Rob Lyons

 

 Commented: Protecting their hides...

Australian politician takes aim at video games offering skins betting opportunities


Link Here 4th August 2016
Counter Strike Global Offensive PosterCounter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 are at the center of a proposed bill in the Australian parliament, which would define the titles as gambling and could potentially see them banned or mandatorily 18 rated .

Introduced by independent Senator Nick Xenophon, a veteran politician in Australia, he told the Sydney Morning Herald that the bill is looking to curtail what he considers to be the Wild West of online gambling that is actually targeting kids.

The concept of skin betting is a nominally no-cash betting entertainment where the stakes are game commodities eg skins, hides, cases, chests. Presumably the skins are made available in the games. The skins betting sites are quite professionally presented along the lines of cash sports betting sites. And several have been linked to games producers. Of course even if skins are nominally not cash, the fact that they are scarce resources makes them suitable for trading and purchases somewhere along the line.

Skin betting has been controversial of late  with CS:GO and Dota 2's developer, Valve, eventually responding to the controversy by sending cease and desist letters to 23 of the most prolific third-party gambling sites, asking them to cease operations.

Xenophon argues that the in-game commodities known as cases (or chests in Dota 2) is gambling in and of itself, due to the differing value of the rewards players receive from them.

Should the bill become law, games providing such betting opportunities will be 18 rated, regardless of the level of content in terms of sex and violence etc. Furthermore if games become classified as gambling, Valve would find itself in breach of Australian law as only companies registered in the country are allowed to offer gambling services, meaning the games could get pulled from sale in Australia altogether.

Nick Xenophon's bill will be introduced to the senate next month as Australian Federal Parliament resumes.

Offsite Article: Xenophon's ill-judged counter strike

4th August 2016. See  article from theconversation.com

Nick Xenophon plans to introduce a bill to Parliament that could stipulate a minimum age for playing first-person shooter games which include payment for mystery items. This is a feature of games such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive , Overwatch and indeed many mobile games that get revenue through micro-transactions.

News reports have inevitably represented the issue according to the same media effects model Xenophon has adopted. That is, first-person shooters groom kids for gambling and video games expose unsuspecting children and young people to danger and risk. It is the kind of half-story often told, one that reflects our tendency as a society to reductively demonise every new medium, to blame them for our problems, and turn them into scapegoats for our bad habits and antisocial behaviour.

For instance, book-reading was once considered a lazy, indulgent or reclusive activity, TV gave our children square eyes and being online all the time prevented young people from learning how to behave appropriately in face-to-face contexts. Oh, and video games turn high school kids into mass murderers (think Columbine or Sandy Hook), or at the very least make our children obese, more aggressive and lacking in empathy. They also have been said to cause learning difficulties, behavioural problems and now, according to Xenophon, early-onset gambling addiction.

...Read the full article from theconversation.com

 

  Taking a spin at Quebec's government...

Consumer rights group fights Quebec law mandating internet censorship so as to protect its monopoly on gambling


Link Here 14th July 2016

public interest logo   Quebec's plans to force ISP's to block gambling websites not approved by the province is being put to the test by a federal consumer rights group. The Public Interest Advocacy Centre (PIAC) this week filed an objection to a law, passed by the Quebec legislature earlier in the year.

The bill's supporters claim that its aim is to improve public health by forcing state residents to play on the Quebec's monopoly gaming site, Lotto-Quebec's Espace-jeux.

But critics, which include net neutrality advocates , technology lawyers, and the ISPs themselves, have accused the Quebec government of setting a dangerous precedent by putting commercial gain above the freedom of the internet.

The plans, which were drawn up in the provinces March 2015 budget predict the scheme will boost government revenues by $13.5 million in 2016-2017 and $27 million in subsequent years. These gains will come at the huge expense of ISP companies, which have said that the disruption to their infrastructures would be enormous as they would have to redesign their networks from the ground up. The cost of this would be passed onto consumers.

The PIAC filing states that Quebec is in direct conflict with the1993 Federal Telecommunications Act, which prohibits a communications provider from control[ing] the content or influence[ing] the meaning or purpose of telecommunications carried by it for the public, unless it has approval from the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission.