Tim Simona is suffering from a drug and gambling addiction, and the NRL has quite rightly deregistered him from playing rugby league.
But the hypocrisy of the NRL is almost excruciating, as it remains silent on its own gambling addiction.
Consulting the website of each of the 16 NRL teams in 2017 shows that 13 of them are sponsored by gambling or betting corporations, the only three clubs not directly sponsored by gambling being the Newcastle Knights, Penrith Panthers, and Canterbury Bulldogs.
|Manly Sea Eagles||Lottoland|
|North Queensland Cowboys||Ubet|
|South Sydney Rabbitohs||Crown Resorts (Casino), Luxbet|
|Melbourne Storm||Crown Resorts (Casino)|
|New Zealand Warriors||SkyCity Casino, TAB NZ|
|St George Illawarra Dragons||Ainsworth Game Technology, South Coast Gaming Machines|
|Gold Coast Titans||Ladbrokes|
King of the culprits in this infamous list is the Manly Sea Eagles, who, in a move that is in equal parts pernicious and embarrassing, renamed their home ground from “Brookvale Oval” to “Lottoland”.
In 1992 the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act was passed to ban the tobacco industry from sponsoring sport. It’s time that similar legislation is enacted to rid our sporting landscape of the scourge of gambling advertising.