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Gambling ads won't go down without a fight

Major sporting codes in Australia have launched action to try and stop the Turnbull Government from restricting gambling advertising on television.

The ABC understands Cabinet is poised to limit the times when gambling ads can be shown on both free to air and pay TV.

The government's plan has met with fervent resistance from both, with the free to air networks demanding relief from Commonwealth licence fees if the move goes ahead.

The biggest forces however standing against the planned changes are Australia's largest sporting codes.

Last Wednesday, Australian Football League chief executive Gillon McLachlan and the National Rugby League's second in command, Nick Weeks, met with the Communications Minister Mitch Fifield in Melbourne.

Both argued that curtailing gambling advertising will slash the value of the television rights their codes attract.

The National Rugby League also has a commercial deal with Sportsbet worth $60 million, and half of the league's 16 teams have a corporate bookmaker as a major sponsor while the AFL has a $10 million a year deal with CrownBet.

The codes also argued that the change risked the integrity agreements struck with Australian-based licensed betting agencies; which impose information sharing arrangements on the bookmakers and ensure the AFL and NRL can monitor and police any gambling by players, coaches and staff.

The codes said the risk was that betting operations would go offshore and that control would be lost.

The ABC has been told that Cricket Australia has also been lobbying against the change.

Source : ABC Online, 19 April 2017