Australia gambling industry divided over restricted advertising

Lea Hogg 10 months ago
Australia gambling industry divided over restricted advertising

The gaming industry in Australia is divided over whether match-day jersey sponsorship should be banned or severely restricted. Some operators favour a complete ban on jersey sponsorships but will continue to advertise until the prohibition is imposed. Other operators have already dropped sponsorships in support of community concerns. However some believe that the gambling industry is being penalised because various operators have overdone it by saturating Australian television with constant advertisements.

The government, betting companies, and the National Rugby League (NRL) are looking at possibly basing the Australian model on the English Premier League‘s voluntary agreement with all teams to phase out sponsorships on the front of match-day shirts by the end of the 2025-2026 season.

According to Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA), reforms to the gambling industry are unavoidable, and recommendations to come up with the right solutions were being explored by the industry. RWA represents many of the industry’s top operators, including Sportsbet, PointsBet, and bet365. Other allied organizations that are not represented by RWA have confirmed that they are supporting a ban.

We recognise further gambling advertising reform is necessary and having already commenced working with relevant media and sport organisations to ensure we can provide recommendations to the government for evid0based and sustainable reform.” Kai Cantwell, Chief Executive – Responsible Wagering Australia

However a number of other operators, including Palmerbet, official sponsor of the Newcastle Knights, claim that the gambling sector is being unfairly criticized since it offers a large source of money to sports clubs. The industry provides a solid revenue stream for the government and generates enormous cash and funds to support government infrastructure, grants, and other projects.

Operators are comparing their products and services to other potentially harmful things, most notably fast food and alcohol, because they do not face the same amount of scrutiny when they support athletic teams and leagues.

Entain no longer sponsors jerseys

Last year Entain, one of the largest gaming operators in Australia, took the decision that it will no longer sponsor the jerseys of professional sports teams in to support responsible gambling and local communities. Entain owns the Ladbrokes and Neds brands, which were previously seen on Brisbane Broncos and Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs jerseys.

NRL slow to give up jersey sponsorship

Professor Adam Karg, based at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, is a sports management expert. He has been tracking gaming sponsorships and gambling brand exposure across numerous teams. Karg emphasizes that supporters are dissatisfied with their team’s involvement with gambling companies. He further stated that over the last decade, AFL teams have dropped team-level gambling brands as partners. He explains that, to some extent, this is self-regulation. At this point, Karg concludes that NRL has been rather slow to remove gambling sponsors from jerseys indicating a split in the gambling sector over the advert bank on match-day jerseys. The sponsorship of jerseys is most likely to be phased out gradually.

 

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