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A-League’s Digital Advertisement Deal with 8XBet Sparks Criticism

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The decision by the A-League, the top Australian football competition, to allow digital advertisements from 8XBet to be added during matches has been criticized by organizations that want gambling reform to include a ban on advertisements from gaming companies.

The adverts were not shown in the stadiums where the game was played. In addition, as part of the broadcast deal, the advertisements could not be aired in the Australia, New Zealand, or the US regions. 8XBet had its advertisements broadcast internationally and the gaming operator logo was also displayed during the A-League matches

Some organizations who wish to see a reduction in gambling advertising as part of the ongoing reform of gaming regulations have been very critical of the A-League for its participation in the ad campaign. They believe that any promotion of gaming operators through advertising will lead to an increase in gambling-related harm.

8XBet has withdrawn from the Australian market following an investigation by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which found that the operator was allowing customers in Australia to gamble while not having a license.

Allowing themselves to be used by gambling companies to attract more losers is very disappointing, especially at a time when soccer is well positioned to increase its reach and engagement.

Carol BennetChief Executive of Alliance for Gambling Reform

Several Australian Clubs Have Refused Gambling Sponsorship

Some clubs in the A-League have previously expressed concern about links between their clubs and gambling companies. This includes Western Sydney Wanderers who have indicated in the past that they would never entertain taking money from gaming operators and have turned down sponsorship offers from gambling companies.

Melbourne Victory has also publicly stated it is concerned about the prevalence of gambling in the Australian jurisdiction and supports initiatives that are designed to reduce problem gambling and the related harms in the region.

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