Betting blitz hits junior footballers on club website29/09/2019 - Author: admin
The offending ad on the junior club’s website. Photo: Leigh HenninghamJunior footballers in Ballarat checking their club’s website recently were bombarded with ads for online sports betting.
The website of the Ballarat Football Club – the third oldest behind Melbourne and Geelong – features ads for Sportsbet苏州美甲美睫培训.au including odds for this weekend’s upcoming AFL matches.
Club president Shane Manley said it has had a six-year relationship with the online bookie but said it was a mistake for the advertisements to appear on the juniors section of club’s website, which was made during an update of the site.
Mr Manley said the club did not want betting to be associated with the juniors – the ads were removed on Wednesday.
Ballarat Football Club’s relationship with online bookmakers is not unique, with other clubs across the state receiving sponsorship from betting agencies.
The revelations come amid increased public and political debate about children’s exposure to betting advertising.
Sportsbet issued a joint statement with the football club saying the ad was placed there by a club volunteer who was making upgrades to the new senior club website.
”Both Ballarat FC and Sportsbet acknowledge that this placement was inappropriate and regret the mistake. Placement of the ad contravenes Sportsbet’s terms and conditions, but we recognise that this was an honest mistake by a club volunteer and both parties agree to take action to prevent it happening again,” the statement said.
The AFL says website pages dedicated to junior football and an under-age audience should carry only age-appropriate advertising.
In Victoria it is also illegal for bookmakers to give inducements – such as free bets – to punters, but the website ads also spruiked a $150 free bet for new clients.
On the membership page there is a heading ”Sportsbet Memberships”; the link takes users through to a website about how to sign up to get the $150 free bet. Under the instructions it says, ”Free Bet Offer not open to Victorian Residents.”
Sportsbet said the wrong ad was chosen to be displayed on the website.
On Wednesday The Age reported that Betfair had pleaded guilty to two charges of offering inducements to open betting accounts in Victoria.
Greens Senator Richard Di Natale said constant gambling promotion was undermining the positive qualities sport taught children, such as teamwork, respect for rules and a healthy lifestyle.
”It’s time for politicians, sporting codes and clubs to show some leadership and say enough is enough,” he said.
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