March 27, 2023 3 min read


AFL, NRL CEOs Joint Appearance before Inquiry Suggests United Front

The joint appearance stirred industry speculation that both professional leagues would agree to further betting advertising restrictions

A joint appearance of Australian Football League (AFL) and National Rugby League (NRL) executives before an online gambling inquiry that is seen as key to further regulation tightening led to speculation that both sporting bodies are changing their stance against changes.

Opportunity to Comment on Evidence

AFL’s chief executive officer, Gill McLachlan and his NRL counterpart, Andrew Abdo, will appear together during a public hearing on Tuesday in Canberra as part of the online gambling inquiry initiated by the government to determine whether further tightening of the gambling regulation is needed, reported Australian Financial Review.

Their appearance side-by-side is stirring rumors within the gambling industry that the country’s top sports administrators will present a united front on the proposed tightening of the betting advertising rules despite the submissions made by their respective sporting codes claiming that the current regime is appropriate and needs no further regulation.

“Since the sport codes made their written submission, we have received substantial evidence contradicting their claim that the current rules around [the] promotion of online sports betting are appropriate,” commented the chair of the inquiry, Labor MP Peta Murphy.

Pleased to see that both executives agreed to appear together, Murphy noted that “this will be their opportunity to tell the committee and the public whether they have considered that evidence and the broader community sentiment.”

Change of Position Is Likely

McLachlan implied that there may be a change in AFL’s recommendation that no further changes be made during a Melbourne radio interview in which he admitted that the amount of gambling advertising was “probably too much” and “in your face.”

He also explained that the league’s set of restrictions “are being reviewed at the moment, hinting that “probably they will be wound tighter,” but underlining that the AFL does not “believe in prohibition because all it does is drive it underground or offshore and that has its own set of problems.”

A recently released survey by the Australian Gambling Research Centre showed that more than half of Australians supported an outright ban on gambling advertising. Data also revealed that 41% of the survey respondents had been exposed to gambling advertising four or more times per week.

The Australian Institute of Family Studies also posted the results of a survey showing that three in every four Australians had gambled at least once in the past 12 months, 38% of which doing it on a weekly basis, claiming that at least half of those gambling are at risk of experiencing gambling-related issues.

Other industry executives set to appear before the inquiry will be the CEOs of Tabcorp and Sportsbet, Adan Rytenskild and Barni Evans, former Queensland premier Anna Bligh for the Australian Banking Association, and ex-federal cabinet minister who chairs the industry Responsible Wagering Australia group, Nick Minchin.

Lead Author

With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *