According to local news, Entain will no longer be sponsoring the jerseys of Australian professional teams. The latest announcement comes amid a growing backlash against gambling advertising in sports.
"While we have had many great partners in this space over a long period of time, we understand some of the community sentiment around this and feel it is the right time to step away from this area," the company stated, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.
It is believed that the group's latest decision is the first step in a move to reduce Entain's sports sponsorship in Australia. Entain has sponsored a range of NRL and AFL teams in the past including the Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, and the Brisbane Lions; and has sponsorships with the UFC and A-League. Meanwhile, Neds is the official wagering partner of the A-Leagues and UFC Australia. It also sponsors the Brisbane Lions despite no longer appearing on the team’s jersey.
Back in July, Ladbrokes pulled its $7.5 million sponsorship of the Brisbane Broncos after the Queensland government increased the point of consumption tax to include free and bonus bets and a new 5% racing levy. The company had sponsored the back of the jersey since 2016. However, Ladbrokes is expected to continue its extensive partnerships in Australian racing.
Last week, the government announced that online wagering companies would be required to ditch the phrase "gamble responsibly" by March of next year, in favor of new taglines that prompt gamblers to consider the consequences of losing a bet. These include: "Chances are you’re about to lose", "Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?", "What’s gambling really costing you?" and "What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit".
Ladbrokes and Neds are among the online wagering services required to apply the new taglines.