The Herald Sun reports that the Australian Football League (AFL) has been forced to defend its associations with bookmakers after a national survey found that 75 percent of fans were concerned about the rise of sports gambling and another 37 percent were concerned that betting saturated sports.
In-your-face advertising both on the pitch, television and giant screens that display betting odds are on the rise in Australia following lucrative sports sponsorships by bookmakers.
Nine of the 10 Victorian clubs have sponsorship deals with corporate bookmakers and the Herald Sun cites that over 20 betting agencies pay 5 percent of their AFL-related profits to the league.
Patrick Keane, an AFL spokesman defended the league’s position by saying: “The primary reason for the AFL to reach agreements with Australia’s major wagering companies is so that we are able to have access to betting records and betting information. As part of our agreements, we can access all betting material to ensure that players, coaches and officials do not bet on matches and this is a central part of our integrity rules to ensure that all matches are conducted to the best effort of every player and official.”
Keane went on to say: “The right for wagering outlets to advertise is not controlled by the AFL. Betting is regulated by state and territory governments and has been in place long before sporting organisations reached agreements with wagering companies.”