The Australian Football League believes that gambling is a normal, regular and vital part of professional sport.
It's a growth industry! (See this report from the Australian Gambling Research Centre)
In a recent article in The Age (28th January 2020), Jon Pierik writes that the deal between the Australian Football League and Bet Easy is 'reportedly worth $10million'.
Some players aren't so sure. But, their hands are tied. How can they speak out against the embedded nature and normalisation of gambling advertising when it is related to their pay and employment?
Some community organisations too are not so sure about the position of gambling in sport as being something normal, regular and legitimate. The Alliance for Gambling Reform specifically targets the Australian Football League for their partnerships with gambling companies.
The Alliance for Gambling Reform's website has a 'pokies ladder' (see above). Hawthorn are 'the worst' and mentions clubs such as Richmond, Carlton, Essendon, St.Kilda, Brisbane and Port Adelaide still have pokies. While, Collingwood, North, Western Bulldogs, Geelong and Melbourne are out of pokies.
The Australian Football League targets children and families as being a primary audience for its 'product'. In turn, it serves up not only high quality footy, but an abundance of gambling advertisements. Children know the brands and know how to talk about gambling. The AFL is playing a leading role in normalising gambling to a new generation of footy fans.
(Image from Harpers Weekly)