Australia's National Rugby League to Promote Online Poker

Published Saturday, April 10, 2010 -

In Australia it is illegal to advertise offshore online gambling services to the Australian public. The same holds true in Canada, online gambling website advertising has not been sanctioned by the Federal government in either country. In a recently received email directed to the marketing managers of the clubs organized by National Rugby League in Australia it is revealed that the officials of the League are going to promote an international online poker company. The Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 specifically prohibits unregulated foreign gambling companies from providing gambling services to the population of Australia. A report in The Sun-Herald newspaper has exposed that is a possible advertiser with the National Rugby League, and it's sixteen clubs. Full Tilt Poker will pay a fee of $100,000 for the privilege of having their logo on the web sites of each club. The loophole in the Gambling Act is the .net .com difference. Full Tilt Poker is directing people to the practice poker players site where there is not for real money play going on but some impressive prizes.

Damien Mahoney, an official with the NRL said, “At this stage, they are looking at along-term involvement with an investment of over 100k, incorporating display advertising and brand integration into the content of the sites,” adding in the news article, “However, as this is new territory for the network and a potentially sensitive area, we have proposed that a smaller display campaign be trialed over the next few months. The advertising will only promote their 'practice' site where no money exchanges hands.” confirming the legality of the deal., another practice site associated with Poker Stars, a UK online gambling company is also advertising in the Australian sports sector with Cronulla unveiling their new uniforms bearing large badges with the logo on both sleeves. NRL spokesman John Brady said the sponsorship deal did not contravene the law because it is advertising the free play web site.

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