Thursday 18. February, 2016

Richmond Becomes Seventh Club to Sign Responsible Gaming Charter

The conflict over sports betting companies sponsoring sporting events has seen Richmond, this week, became the seventh club in Victoria to sign a responsible gaming charter and refuse to be sponsored by a betting agency.

Richmond’s primary sponsor last year was Luxbet, while their second tier sponsor was Sportsbet last year and also in 2009 and 2010.

The steps taken by these seven clubs has put them at odds with the AFL which has a commercial relationship with with large betting agencies and which permits advertising at venues while matches are playing.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said that while the decision not to sign sponsorship deals with major betting agencies would cost the club money, they felt “it is a small price to pay” to prevent the negative impact that sports betting sponsorships can have on children.

Victorian gambling minister Jane Garrett applauded the decision saying, “These steps taken by powerhouse clubs like Richmond are important in dealing with the normalisation of betting amongst particularly our kids.”

“The sense of sports betting advertising and the pervasive nature of it is out of control, particularly when it is hitting our children and we have called on the federal government time and again to release the review that Barry O’Farrell has done and have a national conversation about how we are going to deal with this issue.”

“We do have to take responsibility for our kids and the normalisation of betting. This is one of those important steps to do that.”

Only three Victorian clubs have remained open to sponsorship deals with sports betting agencies and these are Carlton, Geelong and Melbourne. Richmond remains the owner of several pokie machine venues with Gale pointing out the difference between pokies and “the pervasive nature of sports betting.”

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