Geelong defender Harry Taylor has become the second high-profile AFL player to raise concerns about the prevalence of gambling advertisements, saying he is worried about the impact it has on children.
"I've got three kids at home and when my eldest can name a lot of the ads on TV, that is a bit of a worry," the 204-game veteran said.
"[It's] certainly something that we need to keep talking about and educating people about."
Taylor's comments follow Western Bulldogs defender Easton Wood, who posted his views on Twitter last Friday, saying gambling advertising was "out of control".
"The obvious issue here is the effect this has on children every time we pull on the boots," he said.
"The big question is do we think the normalisation of gambling — particularly to kids — is acceptable in this day and age?"
Taylor said education was vital. "It's not as simple as just cutting them [betting companies] out of the AFL, I certainly understand that," he said, "but more education around gambling in general is a really, really important part of what our society and AFL players need."
The league currently has a sponsorship deal with Crownbet worth about $10 million a season, while other bookmakers pay broadcasters millions for advertising.
Gambling researcher Dr Charles Livingstone from Monash University said the players concerns were well-founded.
"Gambling advertising reaches an awful lot of young people and it also induces young people to think gambling has become part of the game and you can't really be a good supporter unless you've had a punt on the game," he said.
"That's very dangerous — the more you bet, the more exposure you have to gambling, the greater the risk you're going to end up with a gambling habit."
He said players speaking out could be a catalyst for the AFL responding to the issue.
An AFL spokesman said the league had done what it could by curbing advertising at venues, but said TV advertising was a matter for the Federal Government.
Last week, the Government knocked back a push from Labor and cross-bench MPs to phase out gambling advertisements in live sport.
Source : ABC News, 13 February 2017