Wednesday July 1,2015 : AFL CLUB TURNS ITS BACK ON GAMBLING SPONSORSHIPS
But does its decision extend to club-venue pokie machines?
Australian Football League’s Essendon Football Club will end all commercial partnerships with gambling firms, saying it will direct its energy to nurturing existing commercial partnerships outside of the gambling industry.
“This decision wasn’t made lightly, particularly with the revenue a wagering partner can deliver,” Xavier Campbell, chief executive of Essendon said.
“We certainly respect the right of betting agencies to advertise in sport, but as an industry we need to proactively monitor the way this message is delivered particularly given many of our fans are children.
“In forming this decision we also took into consideration the feeling of our membership base who have expressed a sense of concern.”
But the club’s new anti-gambling stand has been met with scepticism across various online forums who pose the question of whether its decision extends to the multitude of pokie machines present in club-owned venues, machines which reportedly contributed over AU$ 10 million to club coffers during 2013, or whether the move is simply a public relations exercise following a tumultuous period that included a supplements scandal.