Two Clubs and Two Differing Opinions on Gambling Links

There are many topics that divide sports fans. Should skateboarding be in the Olympics for example? Another is the subject of links between gambling and sports teams. While Australian Football League (AFL) club Geelong is taking a stand against gambling, that’s not the case at Bristol City who have strengthened their links with MansionBet.

To Geelong first who say there will be no gambling ads at their stadium when playing the Western Bulldogs. They are showing support for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Love the Game program.

That has seen over 500 sporting clubs in the state of Victoria take part. It includes the ten AFL clubs, and all are “united in our commitment to protect kids from the promotion of gambling in sport.” Geelong say that men aged between 18 and 24 account for almost a third of the sports betting that takes place in Victoria. Is a 24-year-old a kid? They added that “we want to encourage young people to love the game, not the odds.” Why not just do all you can to promote responsible gambling?

According to Geelong, that figure “shouldn’t come as a surprise, given kids this century has routinely been exposed to excessive levels of sports betting advertising while watching their heroes during live broadcast matches.”

A 2020 survey asked if Victorian sports fans if young people are exposed to too much sports betting advertising. 88% of those asked agreed that they were. It’s not known how many said that they could always just not watch the ads. The amount spent on sports betting advertising has rise from AU$89.7m in 2011 to AU$232m eight years later.

Meanwhile in the northern hemisphere, Bristol City have extended their partnership with MansionBet. The gambling company will continue in their role as the Championship side’s principal partner and their shirt sponsor.

Their partnership began in 2020 and during that time MansionBet have forged good links with both the club and the local community. This included them supporting City’s decision to join a social media blackout as part of the anti-racial abuse campaign.

It’s the latest in a series of deals between MansionBet and football teams. Other sides sponsored by them have been Crystal Palace, Bournemouth and Bournemouth. They have also been the official betting partners of Newcastle United and Manchester City.

Geelong could do well to have a chat with Bristol City on the subject of links between football and gambling companies. City have said that the club “is dedicated to promoting responsible gambling and The MansionBet logo will not appear on youth kits.” That’s a far better attitude than just attempting to end the links altogether.