AFL star questions league's betting fees - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL star questions league's betting fees

Michelle Draper 27/05/2011 06:07:22 PM Comments (0)

Former AFL player and reformed gambling addict David Schwarz has questioned whether millions of dollars paid to the league by betting agencies is justified.

The AFL received more than $2 million last year from 20 betting agencies to be affiliated with the league, a fraction of the $1.25 billion the organisation is set to receive from television rights.

"The AFL is happy to take the $2 million off the betting agencies, but at what risk?" Schwarz asked on Friday.

The former Melbourne Demons player said the affiliated betting agencies bombarded television, radio and live match audiences with advertising during games, which could incite young people to gamble.

Schwarz called on the league to rein in the amount of advertising.

"The AFL can certainly stop a lot of the ... advertising that is being done," Schwarz told AAP following a panel discussion as part of Responsible Gambling Awareness Week.

"They have control over the Footy Record, they have control over a lot of things.

"I think they could pull some of their weight - and they've got a fair bit of it - to minimise the impact that it is having on kids in particular."

Melbourne's best-and-fairest winner in 1999 also took aim at exotic betting, saying it was only a matter of time before someone was implicated in a scandal.

His comments come as the AFL investigates a series of recent plunges on exotic bets, including on Brisbane full-back Daniel Merrett and Hawthorn defender Brent Guerra to kick the first goal in a match, amid fears clubs may be leaking sensitive information.

"Where there's money, where there's betting, there's corruption," he said.

"Mark my words, there will be a player, a coach or an official, that will be caught out leaking information in the near future."

He said the AFL had the power to put a stop to exotic betting, which has beleaguered other sports including cricket and the NRL, including Canterbury Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy.

"I think it opens up a can of worms that the AFL won't be able to control."

Schwarz, who lost $4 million gambling before quitting in 2005, said if internet gambling had been as ubiquitous then as it is now, "I would have lost my money twice as quick".

Schwarz said he was currently working with a dozen AFL players who were problem gamblers.

He said those players were typically single and isolated from friends and family following relationship breakdowns.

They were often bored and reluctant to venture out because of the attention their public profile attracts.

The federal government on Friday responded to concerns surrounding the proliferation of in-run betting during sports broadcasts, giving bookmakers 12 months to rein in their spruiking or risk legislation to control it.

Schwarz is a responsible gambling ambassador for the Australian Leisure and Hospitality Group which owns more than 285 pubs and clubs, including poker machine venues, across Australia.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

0 Comments about this article

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.

« All sports news