Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood (right in photo) has taken a swipe at the game’s management for clamping down on player gambling yet allowing ads by sports betting companies to be rife during telecasts.
Wood went to Twitter to declare that “gambling advertising is out of control and I think it needs to change” and it wasn’t just during AFL telecasts, but a number of other mainstream sports, too.
He argued that players were regularly counselled on betting on sports yet a lot of the game’s revenues came from betting advertising or, for many clubs, poker machines.
Wood’s comments follow on from comments last week by AFL board member and media stalwart, Kim Williams, who voiced his concerns at the level and nature of gambling advertising during AFL broadcasts.
“We had the annual AFL education session today which while being informative and well run, there was one topic which I just couldn’t stomach. Gambling,” Wood posted on Twitter, his comments reported on Fairfax Media.
“Every year we are told it is a sinister and dangerous activity because of the associated risks that come with gambling, all of which have proven very real.
“What I can’t understand is that if this is such an issue that we need an annual education session, why – as an industry – do we support the onslaught of gambling advertising you are now faced with when watching an AFL game.
“The obvious issue here is the effect this advertising has on children every time they watch us pull on our boots.
“The big question is, do we think the normalisation of gambling – particularly to kids – is acceptable in this day and age?” he said.