The Australian Football League Fans Association (AFLFA) has revealed that the football community is fully supportive of banning gambling advertising entirely.
The AFLFA have also urged the federal government not to delay these actions, with a three-year delay supposedly in pace after a transition period.
AFL Fans Back Gambling Advertising Ban
Like the majority of worldwide sports, gambling advertising is rife in the Australian Football League. Just like the English Premier League in soccer, the NFL, UFC, NBA and MLB, fans are bombarded with gambling adverts from betting companies.
Now, the AFLFA are supporting a movement to ban gambling advertising entirely from football. However, there are some hurdles to jump if this is to become a reality.
A federal parliamentary committee has recommended that gambling adverts be banned after an initial three-year transition period. However, crossbench MP’s have urged the federal government to move swiftly and act quickly, given the harm posed by sports betting and wagering.
Earlier this year, 3,000 Australian Football League fans partook in a survey, with a whopping 76% voting in favour of a blanket ban on gambling ads on TV and radio. The survey also revealed that 79% supported a ban on betting promotions at stadiums.
Furthermore, the study found that roughly two-thirds of fans who took part in the survey agreed that AFL clubs should not receive money from gambling advertising or and type of betting.
In a recent interview, the AFLFA president, Ron Issko, revealed that gambling ads were the most common concern of fans. He also suggested that although an immediate blanket ban may not be possible or practical, that waiting three years for the supposed transition period would not be accepted by many fans.
“I am hoping there are little changes made along the way and so that by the time we get to three years, it is completely gone,” Issko said.
“For them to lose that revenue overnight will realistically result in a big hole in their budget. There needs to be dialogue and discussion about slowly reducing the number of ads and a gradual way to ban it.”
Several high-profile players including Collingwood captain Darcy Moore have expressed concern about the volume of gambling advertisements in recent years, citing the exposure of children to wagering odds.
Gambling Companies Criticise Recommended Ban As ‘An Overreaction’
As expected, this ban has been criticised by many gambling companies who have criticised the recommended ban as an overreaction. One of these sports betting sites is the biggest bookmaker in Australian, Sportsbet. In a recent statement, the Sportsbet CEO, Barni Evans, said:
“We believe an approach that significantly reduces the number of ads rather than complete bans would respond to community concerns, while still supporting sport and media”.
Palmerbet’s head of regulation and compliance, Mitch Reid, said the blanket ban was “impetuous, brash and short-sighted”.
What happens next in the AFL and the AFLFA’s campaign to ban gambling advertising remains to be seen. For now though, sports betting ads are still ever present in football in Australia, as well as the majority of sports around the world.