Entain has announced that its Ladbrokes and Neds brands are to no longer appear on shirts of sportspeople in Australia.
The move is part of a greater reduction in the company’s sponsorship of sport following a growing backlash against gambling sponsorships of sports teams.
Entain spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald: “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.”
Ladbrokes ended its deal with Brisbane Broncos in the summer (worth approx AUS$7.5m) after the government increased the point of consumption tax to include free and bonus bets, as well as a 5% racing levy.
Furthermore, Neds had been the official gambling partner of the A-Leagues and UFC Australia, and also sponsors the Brisbane Lions despite no longer being present on the team’s kits.
The Australian government is getting tougher on gambling as this month has seen Sportsbet and bet365 fall under a regulatory spotlight, with the country’s financial watchdog AUSTRAC continuing an ‘extensive supervisory campaign’.
Likewise, the Labor Party government of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has also introduced seven new phrases to be implemented across gambling advertising and marketing in the country.
Some of the new messages, which will apply across all in-person and online betting services ‘Chances are you’re about to lose’, ‘Think. Is this a bet you really want to place?’ and ‘What’s gambling really costing you?’.
Sportsbook giants such as bet365, Sportsbet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Pointsbet are amongst those required to apply the new taglines in the country.
The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age also revealed a poll earlier this week which showed that 62% of people would ban gambling companies from sponsoring professional sport altogether.