Crown Resorts seeks AFL sponsorship deals for 2023 season


The casino operator is said to have approached several clubs in Victoria.

Australia.- Crown Resorts is said to have contacted the AFL and individual clubs in Victoria to propose sponsorship agreements for the upcoming season as part of its strategy for 2023. It could mean some clubs break their pledge not to accept funds from gambling companies.

All 10 Victorian clubs have signed up for the “Love the Game, Not the Odds” campaign, which discourages sports clubs from accepting sponsorship from gambling providers. However, ABC reports that North Melbourne, Carlton and St Kilda have not ruled out accepting deals with Crown.

So far, Western Bulldogs and Geelong have declined the offer. Essendon says it has not yet received an offer from Crown, while Richmond, Melbourne, Collingwood, and Hawthorn didn’t respond to requests for comment.

More than 735 professional and amateur Victorian sporting clubs across various sports have signed up for the “Love the Game, Not the Odds” initiative, which is run by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. However, the AFL, which counts Sportsbet among its major sponsors, has not been involved with the initiative. It removed a “Love the Game” advertisement from its website as it conflicted with its Sportsbet sponsorship.

The AFL has an existing relationship with Crown and holds events, such as the Brownlow Medal count, at its Melbourne casino. However, the AFL has denied any plans to enter new arrangements with Crown Resorts. 

It said: “The AFL confirms details of a Crown Resorts sponsorship proposal was discussed at a recent club commercial meeting and sent to club sponsorship managers for an expression of interest.”

Last year, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) imposed two fines against Crown Melbourne totalling AU$120m (US$77.2m) for breaches of its Responsible Service of Gambling obligations.

The Royal Commission into the casino operator and Licence found that Crown Melbourne breached its code of conduct for the Responsible Service of Gambling over many years by consistently failing to intervene to prevent gambling harm. It also ruled that Crown failed to comply with a statutory direction by the regulator to take all reasonable steps to prevent patrons from using plastic picks and other devices to simulate ‘automatic play’.

See also: Federal judge loses patience with AUSTRAC’s Crown Resorts prosecution

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