Easton Wood backs AFL’s player opt-out clause for gambling advertising


Former AFL player Easton Wood has thrown his support behind an opt-out clause that gives players the power to refuse to participate in gambling advertising.

A number of current AFL players have chosen to opt out of having their image used in AFL-authorised promotional material for major sponsor SportsBet.

Wood, the former Western Bulldogs premiership captain, spoke out against the prevalence of gambling advertising during his playing career, before he retired from the game in 2021.

He says the presence of betting in sport is out of control.

“They’re seamlessly integrated into the broadcast — every break, there’s advertising on the TV, and there’s advertising around the stadium,” he said.

“And where that concerns me is that kids … are watching our game — even my own kids.

“I think it’s a dangerous thing to grow up and to be exposed to this stuff to the point where you live in a world where gambling and the AFL are synonymous with each other.”

Wood said he could not recall if he chose to opt out of having his image connected with SportsBet advertising, or if he was even aware of the option, while he was playing.

But he said he would “absolutely” and “unequivocally” opt out if he had the option today.

“Isn’t it telling that there is a sponsor of something that requires [players] to have an opt-out clause, because it can be damaging to somebody’s brand?” he said.

“What does that say about the association with the brand the AFL?”

The opt-out clause has been in place since 2019.


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