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Crownbet moots advertising strategy change after clubs deal

Wed, Feb 15, 10:19am by Staff Writer

With increasing focus on the amount of betting advertising during sporting events, Crownbet has pitched that its new ClubsNSW deal will see it change its marketing approach to focus directly on engaged gamblers.

At least two AFL footballers have spoken out about the proliferation of gambling ads on TV in recent weeks, with Western Bulldogs premiership captain Easton Wood calling for greater regulation to prevent children being exposed to promotion of gambling.

In federal parliament, the opposition attempted to attach an amendment to the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill which would phase out advertising during sporting events, but that was defeated, with the government opting for broadcasters and advertisers to regulate their own behaviour.

But the growing community concern over gambling advertising has not been missed by Crownbet, who are the major betting partner of both the AFL and NRL.

CEO Matt Tripp has told The Australian that one of the driving forces behind the new deal with Clubs NSW to become an official digital wagering partner was to alter its focus from traditional advertising to appealing directly to engaged punters.

“We want to avoid scattergun gambling ads that are out of step with community expectation and have clearly harmed our industry,” Tripp told The Australian.

“The ability to speak directly to millions of NSW club members is the centrepiece of our affiliation with ClubsNSW and will be key to its success.”

The deal with ClubsNSW has caused a massive stir with Tabcorp, who hold the retail wagering licenses at many of the clubs.

They initially wrote to the 1200 clubs across NSW suggesting that the Crownbet deal, which gives them the right to run loyalty rewards programs within the venues, was not legal.

The latest claim, made in the Fairfax press is that there have been concerns raised over the probity of the tender process.

The tender was conducted by Beyond Boundaries, a company founded by former AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou, who is also a board member of both Crownbet and the company’s 62 per cent shareholder Crown Resorts.

However, Clubs NSW has insisted Demetriou was not involved in the process and it was conducted by one of Beyond Boundaries other executives.

Clubs NSW said it held no concerns with the way the tender was conducted and backed Crownbet’s strategy to reduce the exposure of gambling advertising in the community.

“It is being actively debated in parliaments around the country but also around the kitchen table,” Clubs NSW CEO Anthony Ball said. “Since Tom Waterhouse was non-stop on our TVs people have been worried about the exposure of children to betting advertising and odds.”

‘‘CrownBet, to their great credit, is prepared to take action there and respond to those concerns.”

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