The NSW Government Has Pulled a “Responsible Gambling” Ad Featuring a Player Who Has Been Charged Over Alleged Betting Corruption

May 19, 2024 | Responsible gaming

SYDNEY, NSW (May 18, 2024) — The recent incident involving Macarthur Football Club players and alleged betting corruption has led to significant repercussions, including the removal of a “responsible gambling” ad featuring midfielder Kearyn Baccus. The ad, part of a campaign by Liquor and Gaming NSW, was meant to raise awareness about gambling issues but was swiftly pulled after the some media outlets queried its appropriateness given the charges against Baccus.

The scandal involves three players from Macarthur FC. The charges stem from an investigation into alleged yellow card manipulation during A-League matches. According to NSW Police, Ulises Dávila, the club’s captain, took instructions from a man linked to a South American criminal group to ensure yellow cards were issued at specific times. Dávila allegedly recruited Baccus and Clayton Lewis, offering them $10,000 each to participate.

The alleged offenses occurred in games in November and December 2023, with additional failed attempts in April and May 2024. In response to the charges, Football Australia has issued no-fault suspensions to the three players, and they have been granted conditional bail pending upcoming court appearances.

The fallout extends to the club’s partnership with the Office of Responsible Gambling (ORG). Established in 2021, this partnership aimed to eliminate betting advertisements from the club’s games and promote responsible gambling. ORG has expressed its awareness of the situation and is reviewing possible actions under the partnership agreement. All social media content featuring the implicated players has been removed.

Macarthur FC remains committed to raising awareness about gambling issues and maintaining a stance against gambling sponsorships, as demonstrated by their involvement in the Reclaim the Game campaign. Despite this scandal, the club and its partners continue to advocate for responsible gambling practices.

This case highlights the challenges sports organizations face in addressing corruption and maintaining integrity while promoting responsible gambling. The involvement of prominent players in such scandals can undermine public trust and the effectiveness of campaigns aimed at mitigating gambling-related harm.

SOURCE: LI Contributor.

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