AFL to review restrictions on gambling ads following criticism

Criticism of gambling ads has intensified.
Criticism of gambling ads has intensified.

AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan says there are too many gambling ads and that restrictions will be reviewed.

Australia.- Amid controversy about the volume of gambling ads in the AFL, the league’s CEO, Gillon McLachlan, has said that restrictions will be tightened. In an interview with Melbourne radio station 3AW, McLachlan said he agreed there are too many gambling ads in the sport.

He said he doesn’t have a problem with wagering but believes the volume of ads is excessive and overwhelming. He said current restrictions were under review but that he opposes prohibition, which he said would drive gambling underground or offshore, leading to further problems.

According to The Guardian, the number of complaints about gambling advertisements almost doubled in the last financial year, prompting Australia’s media regulator to warn current restrictions were failing to meet community expectations.

a recent survey by the AFL Fans Association (AFLFA) found that 79 per cent of fans agreed that gambling advertisements should be banned on AFL campuses, while 76 per cent agreed that broadcast gambling advertisements (both on TV and radio) should be banned. 

Meanwhile, 67 per cent said AFL clubs should not receive money from slot machines or gambling advertisements, and 65 per cent said gambling should not be allowed on AFL playing grounds.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie, is one of a number of federal MPs, including the Nationals leader, David Littleproud, who have either called for a total ban on ads or tougher restrictions. 

He said: “The AFL is completely and utterly out of step and it is beyond time for them to either get on board or get out of the way. Change is coming. There is such a weight of public opinion and concern that a government will be forced to act sooner or later. The community is sick of it.”

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