Monday 4. April, 2016

AFL Chief Says Banning Gaming is Not the Answer

AFL chief, Gillon McLachlan, is adamant that prohibiting gambling within the AFL will not solve any of the issues of concern. He has admitted that while there is concern over the AFL’s reliance on gambling revenue from its clubs due to the issues of problem gambling, he does not believe that banning gambling would be the answer.

The AFL has come under attack recently over both the reliance of their clubs on pokies revenue and also on their relationship with Crownbet, bookmaker and their official partner, whose advertising appears freely on the sport’s website.

“People’s views are different – a number of people have very strong views about wagering,” McLachlan said. “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 contextualize 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 stated that the AFL leadership meet often to discuss the issues of gambling and the sports reliance on their gambling revenue and that AFL betting is not “a dirty little secret” like some people suggest.

McLachlan pointed to evidence that shows that betting numbers are not actually increasing, but rather there is a move from racing to sports betting that skews perception regarding how many people are gambling.

“The runaway train that people are talking about is not reflected in the numbers; [they’re] referring to a change,” he said. “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.”


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