Is AFL’s anti-gambling stance softening?

Is AFL’s anti-gambling stance softening?

Monday, April 4, 2016 Totally Gaming
McLachlan says gambling isn’t a ‘dirty word’

Gillon McLachlan, the chief executive of the Australian Football League, has insisted that the Australian rules competition is keen to work alongside betting companies despite the tournament having imposed strict new anti-gambling rules.

Broadcasters have been banned from airing adverts from gambling companies during game broadcasts, while even members of the media who are covering matches will now be blocked from placing bets at certain times on game day.

However, McLachlan has insisted that the AFL’s approach does not represent prohibition.

“People’s views are different – a number of people have very strong views about wagering,” he said, according to the Australian Associated Press agency. “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 also said that gambling industry revenue had helped the AFL to grow. “It is not a dirty little secret, it’s something that’s debated reasonably regularly at the AFL,” he said. “That’s my position, not universal.

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

“The runaway train that people are talking about is not reflected in the numbers. [They are] 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.”

TotallyGaming.com says:

The AFL has taken a tough line against the promotion of gambling companies, but McLachlan is well aware that his sport also benefits greatly from betting-related revenues. However, many in the AFL are not convinced. In October, several of the league’s clubs have signed up to a charter that meant they would not agree deals with sports betting companies. Finding the balance that McLachlan is seeking would still appear to be some time away.

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