Minister calls on sports codes to limit gambling influence

The AFL was among the sports codes requested to show leadership on the influence of gambling.

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge, urged football, cricket and tennis chiefs to put sports ahead of gambling sponsorship dollars.

Australia.- Alan Tudge, Human Services Minister and responsible for revamping sports betting laws urged sports codes including the AFL to show leadership on the influence of gambling amid fears punting is becoming too prominent at games and on TV.

Tennis Australia allegedly paid AUD5 million (US$3.66 million) over two years to make William Hill the Open’s official betting partner, which resulted in match-fixing allegations that shadowed January’s Grand Slam.

The minister said that the Australian Open’s contentious sponsorship deal with William Hill this year upset fans, who are sick of being bombarded by betting advertising.

“I think the sporting bodies themselves have to take some responsibility in relation to their relationships with the gambling companies,’’ said Tudge, “to ensure that their sports remain about participation and enjoying the game and not become all about gambling.’’