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AFL Accused of ‘Cannibalizing’ Supporters

2/4/2009
The Australian Football League has been accused of cannibalizing their supports by attaching free gambling vouchers to the AFL Record.

Nick Xenophon plans to introduce a bill into parliament which will ban such promotions in the future as he claims they are designed to make people become addicted to gambling.

The promotion was approved by the AFL and featured on the cover. It required the user to create an account with Betfair and then spend $50 in order to receive the $50 credit.

Senator Xenophon said, “This is the AFL taking a narrow, blinkered approach. The 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. Getting money from gambling like this is fool’s gold because it essentially cannibalizes the supporters of the game.”

He also said, “My message to the AFL chief executive, Andrew Demetriou, is to think of the consequences of footy fans getting hooked on online gambling. There is no such thing as a free bet and these companies are luring people via these promotions. They know a proportion of people will get hooked.”

This criticism will not be welcomed by the AFL who have recently been taking further precautions to protect the integrity of the sport including disallowing their official statisticians to bet on games in the league.

Champion Data staff were recently warned that gambling was no longer allowed due to the rise in “exotic” forms of betting and their data’s ability to make or break gamblers.

Danielle Almond
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