slammed for free gambling vouchers - 2nd April 2009
Giving betting firms "plenty of oxygen"
Xenophon to introduce a Bill to ban it
AFL has "cannabalised" supporters by
attaching free gambling vouchers to the official
match day program, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon
Xenophon plans to introduce a Bill into Federal
Parliament banning such promotions, which he says
are designed get some people hooked on gambling.
copies of the round one AFL Record had a $50 Betfair
gambling voucher attached.
promotion, which a spokesperson for the AFL Record
said was approved by the AFL, was on the cover
of the publication.
required the user to create an account with Betfair
and then spend $50 of their own money on bets
before receiving the credit.
a climate of global financial uncertainty, the
AFL and its clubs are giving betting firms plenty
of oxygen, something Senator Xenophon predicted
would result in some supporters becoming compulsive
is the AFL taking a narrow, blinkered approach,''
Senator Xenophon said.
irony is that many fans will, because of this
promotion, get hooked on gambling and won't be
able to afford a season ticket or a membership.
money from gambling like this is fool's gold,
because it essentially cannibalises the supporters
of the game.''
bookmakers have moved with increasing confidence
into aggressive marketing via top level sports
since last year, when a High Court judgment in
favour of Betfair effectively opened the gates
to a closer relationship between betting agencies
October, well-known bookmaker Gerard Daffy described
the changed climate as "party time'' for
anti-gambling campaigner Senator Xenophon has
a different view.
message to (AFL chief executive) Andrew Demetriou
is think of the consequences of footy fans getting
hooked on online gambling,'' he said.
is no such thing as a free bet - these companies
are luring people via these promotions. They know
a proportion of people will get hooked."
long as its not illegal you can expect many Australian
professional sports codes to adopt a business
model that has elements of betting, be it Betfair
with the AFL, Betezy with the NRL clubs, AIS with
the Australian Grand Prix or whatever. Gambling
is gambling whatever way we slice it or dice it.
Lotto, bingo, scratchies, online bingo, horse
racing, online slots or high stakes million dollar
poker tournaments. The subject of betting ignites
passionate arguments for and against and of course
it's a very hot item on the Australian political
agenda. I think the readers can guess whether
Senator Stephen Conroy will have bet on the AFL
footy matches of not!