Parramatta Eels have created controversy in the Australian National Rugby League after inking a deal with the online gambling company Unibet worth AUD $1m per year for the struggling side.
This time it’s the turn of the sports writers at ROAR who have a strong opinion over the intimate relationship that sports and gambling have, as they pour scorn over a new deal between Parramatta Eels and Unibet.
Unibet have agreed to pay Parramatta Eels AUD $1 million per year, in a deal that will see the Unibet logo sewn into the back of the Eels shirts for the next two-years. It is the biggest sponsorship deal in the history of the Eels and comes at a time where they have won two consecutive wooden spoons and are still without a manager after Brian Smith left the club midway through the year.
Proving when it rains it pours; the Eels are set to announce Jason Taylor as its new head coach, a decision that has resulted in their chairman, Steve Sharp, considering his resignation. The Eels voted 3-2 in favor of the appointment and one can guess that Sharp is not a fan.
The writers at ROAR are calling for the abolition of all gambling-related advertisements for National Rugby League franchises, because they believe there is a strong connection between the gambling advertisements and the likelihood that young sports fans will become brainwashed into becoming gambling addicts. One assumes that these same writers do not drink alcohol, do not smoke, never watch pornography and never smoke any wacky-baccy.
Fighting for the freedom from the shackles of gambling’s presence in Australian sport is commendable. It’s just a shame that it’s a lost cause. Money makes the world go around, and without the gambling sponsorships there would be no sport to watch.
KidBet Gambling Education Launched
A more positive way to deal with gambling’s influence on the young and vulnerable is to create strong and powerful educational programs, and that’s exactly what the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has done after launching their KidBet campaign.
The government has committed $150m to the Foundation over the next four years as their ‘Gambling is not a Game’ slogan starts to gain pace within the teenage circles of Melbourne.
“In 15-months it’s achieved remarkable results,” said Edward O’Donohue, Victoria’s Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulation.
Serge Sard, CEO for the Foundation said: “The ad is deliberately provocative because there appears to be a misplaced complacency around the issue,” Sard continued, “Today’s young person is exposed to a gambling environment that presents a different set of temptations, challenges and dangers than was experienced by their parents. In any given week, there are 25 million internet gambling ads, so it’s an explosion of messaging that’s bombarding kids.”
Unibet Upset The Swedish Regulator
Unibet and Vera&John have upset the Swedish advertising ombudsman Reklamombudsmannen, after created advertisements the governors believe mislead customers.
Both gambling companies have both been found guilty of breaching articles one and five of the International Chamber of Commerce rules on marketing and advertising.
“Games can be seen by some as a way to solve personal financial problems and it is therefore particularly important that messages in advertising is designed with a sense of social responsibility and in accordance with good business practice in the industry,” SPER chairman Zenita Strandänger said.