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AFL defends betting relationships

AFL defends betting relationships
May 22, 2013

AFL Chief Executive Andrew Demetriou has hit back at David Schwarz's suggestion the League has become "drunk" on betting agency revenue, saying its betting partnerships were founded on protecting the integrity of the game.

Former Melbourne star and reformed gambling addict Schwarz recently told Fox Sports' Open Mike program that the AFL's financial partnerships with betting agencies troubled him, with his biggest concern the way "corporate bookmakers are grooming kids into gambling".

Demetriou told reporters on Tuesday he understood Schwarz's concerns but did not think his comments were fair, stating "I have been at pains to say that if the AFL wasn't involved with gambling agencies, there would still be betting.

"The reason we are involved with gambling agencies is not for the revenue, it's so we've got access to information to protect the integrity of the code."

Demetriou said the AFL's partnerships with betting agencies gave it legal access to those agencies' betting records, which had helped them catch football industry employees betting on games in contravention of an AFL ban.

Demetriou (pictured) added that the AFL's right under those partnerships to veto certain bet types also helped it protect the game's integrity, stating "if David calls that (being) drunk, I call that being responsible."

Demetriou's comments follow the decision of the South Australian government last week to instigate a ban of live betting odds during sports broadcasts.

The AFL Chief Executive suspects that other states might follow South Australia's lead, but said the AFL had already responded to a Federal Government request that sporting codes self-regulate their relationships with betting agencies.

Demetriou said the AFL's self-regulation had included banning live odds being shown at venues or discussed on television broadcasts during play.

He added "I think we've taken this issue very seriously. What governments do from here on in is up to them, we'll abide by whatever government decisions there are."

The AFL's national online schools tipping competition recently featured an advertisement from the TAB but Demetriou said that had been a technical error by the AFL's website partner Telstra which was being rectified.

Demetriou was speaking at the launch of the AFL's Indigenous Programs partnership with Coles.

The partnership will cover existing programs for under-15 indigenous boys such as the National Kickstart Championships, Flying Boomerangs and state camps, but will also be expanded to include camps and national championships for under-18 indigenous girls.

Demetriou concluded "the fact that we've now broadened it to include females is even more important and significant."

14th May 2013 - ICSS CALLS FOR A MULTINATIONAL, MULTIAGENCY APPROACH TO MONITORING BETTING IN SPORT

27th April 2012 - TELSTRA, NRL AND AFL WIN MOBILE RIGHTS APPEAL

16th June 2010 - SPORTS BETTING SET TO NET UP TO US$1 BILLION 8th November 2012 - NEW UNIT TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF AUSTRALIA SPORT

17th October 2012 - NEW PARTNERSHIP TO TACKLE DOPING IN SPORT

26th July 2012 - COMMONWEALTH SPORT MINISTERS AGREE TO PROTECT INTEGRITY OF SPORT 

27th April 2012 - TELSTRA, NRL AND AFL WIN MOBILE RIGHTS APPEAL

28th March 2011 - AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT WELCOMES CONSULTATION ON MATCH FIXING

16th June 2010 - SPORTS BETTING SET TO NET UP TO US$1 BILLION

28th January 2010 - AFL WARNS GAMBLING AND DRUG CHEATS


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