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More needs to be done, but gambling ‘entrenched’ in AFL business model

The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation admits it would like the AFL to do more to separate itself from gambling.

But Serge Sardo, CEO of the VRGF, says a fresh pledge from several Victorian clubs to stop promoting betting is a good start.

The Western Bulldogs, St Kilda and Essendon joined Collingwood, Hawthorn, and North Melbourne in signing a responsible gambling pledge on Monday.

They’ve agreed to not give away gambling prizes, inducements or promotions.

It was met with cynicism by 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott, who questioned whether they were all putting their money where their mouth is.

‘On one hand, they’re saying they’re all about responsible gambling, but on the other ? own lots of poker machines,’ Tom said.

‘As far as I’m aware, the North Melbourne football club is the only one who does not have poker machines.

‘They’re the only one which has backed its stated stance with an actual financial one.’

Mr Sardo conceded more needed to be done, but that it was difficult for clubs to walk away.

‘I know the clubs on our program would like to walk away from gambling outcome,’ he said.

‘But they can’t walk away.

‘It’s quite entrenched and would send them broke.’

LISTEN: Serge Sardo explains more on 3AW Drive