Australian minister warns sports over gambling deals

Australian minister warns sports over gambling deals

Friday, May 13, 2016 Totally Gaming
Alan Tudge told governing bodies to examine their relationships with betting operators

The Australian minister charged with leading changes to the country’s gambling laws has told the nation’s sports organisations to avoid getting too close to the gaming industry.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, speaking to the Herald Sun newspaper, said the governing bodies of major sports such as Australian rules football, cricket and tennis must ensure that integrity is put ahead of sponsorship dollars.

Tennis Australia is believed to have been paid AUS$5m (€3.2m/US$3.6m) over two years to make William Hill the Open’s official betting partner, with the deal attracting much controversy during the tournament in January when match-fixing allegations emerged. Other sports bodies and teams also have partnerships with gaming operators, which Tudge suggests could cause a conflict of interests.

“I think the sporting bodies themselves have to take some responsibility in relation to their relationships with the gambling companies,’’ Tudge said. “They need to ensure that their sports remain about participation and enjoying the game and not become all about gambling.’’

Tudge said Australian Football League (AFL) and tennis had been raised with him as the biggest betting concerns and said chiefs of those codes should listen to fans.

Tudge last month released a review of illegal offshore gambling which is set to influence new gaming laws in Australia.

TotallyGaming.com says: “While representatives of sport, gambling, politics should always be mindful of the integrity of sporting events, Tudge’s concerns seem to be of little substance. In the recent review of Australia’s gaming laws, sports and other interested parties simply wanted betting to be well regulated to decrease the threat of match-fixing.” 

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