AFLPA says player opt-out system for betting promotions is “right balance”.

The AFL Players’ Association expressed confidence that an opt-out system for AFL-authorized betting promotions would offer players the appropriate balance, as greater awareness could result in more athletes taking up the option.

AFLPA chief Paul Marsh.

AFLPA chief Paul Marsh.Credit:Getty Images

In an email to AFL-accredited players’ agents last month, the AFLPA outlined player choices to participate in Sportsbet promotions.

AFLPA chief executive Paul Marsh said Thursday players have had the option to opt out since 2019, when the AFL renewed their betting partnership.


“From a player’s perspective, I think we’ve struck the right balance here where players are financially participating in deals,” Marsh told ABC Melbourne.

“The fact is, bookmakers make a lot of money from betting on football, so we think that’s fair. But for some players there is [are] moral issues surrounding this, or [for] different reasons.”

In 2022, nearly 30 punters chose to “decline” the betting action for the betting partner — less than four percent of punters.

Marsh said the “small number…could increase” as awareness grew of players’ ability to opt-out following media reports, adding that the AFLPA communicated with players and their agents about the right to opt-out annually.

“There are still a lot of players who are happy to be used for that,” he said.


A number of older players contacted by Agehowever, was little aware that the AFL was effectively asking them to opt out – and that Sportsbet had the right to use their image unless they objected to its use in the betting promotion/advertising.

Under AFL Rules, players cannot be involved in promoting betting on AFL games, but their image may only be used by the AFL’s betting partner, who also has a presence on the league’s website and app.

Marsh said the Betting Actions used images of players in groups rather than individuals.

“They will not endorse any of the betting companies individually, but they are just pictures of matches,” he said. “There will be some sort of group shot of four or more players, that’s how it’s usually used.”

In addition to Brown, who is known for his positions on social issues, Age is aware of another well-known player who wished to remain anonymous, opted out for ethical reasons and felt uncomfortable with the betting action.

Attitudes towards football betting – and concerns about the proliferation of betting advertising in football broadcasts – has become an increasingly sensitive issue as Sportsbet’s increasing presence in the country’s biggest sports and media outlets comes under closer scrutiny.

The 800+ AFL players receive 28 percent of the Sportsbet deal, just as they receive 28 percent of all football-related revenue earned by the clubs and the AFL.

Craig Kelly.

Craig Kelly.Credit:Getty Images

Kelly said that unlike Collingwood’s, his personal opinion “is not relevant in this conversation” and that the club values ​​its partnership with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation. AFLPA says player opt-out system for betting promotions is “right balance”.

Ryan Sederquist

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