News Corp, the global media conglomerate, is facing harsh criticism over its digital hub, CODE Bet, with claims that it exploits vulnerable individuals by promoting high-risk gambling activities.
Australia, known for its widespread gambling culture, sees losses totaling billions of dollars each year. In an effort to address gambling harm and reduce the financial impact on individuals, lawmakers in various states have been advocating for stricter gambling regulations.
In 2021, News Corp launched CODE Sports, a digital hub offering sports betting insights, including the CODE Bet platform. This unique website provides exclusive previews, analyses, reports, and podcasts related to sports betting. It also features promotional offers from prominent bookmakers like Betr, bet365, and Ladbrokes, among others.
However, according to a recent report by The Guardian, anti-gambling advocates have expressed concerns about CODE Bet. Carol Bennett, the CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, an organization dedicated to protecting consumers from gambling harm, criticized the platform for promoting high-risk gambling practices.
Bennett accused News Corp of reaching “a new low” with CODE Bet, emphasizing that Australia has earned the unfortunate distinction of being the world’s largest losers in gambling. She highlighted the extensive harm caused by gambling in vulnerable populations and questioned News Corp’s decision to engage in such practices.
In her statement, Bennett said, “News Corp seems to have hit a new low in preying on those vulnerable to gambling harm in its latest venture, the CodeSports website supported by its information hub, CODE Bet.”
The criticism comes as Australia grapples with the social and financial consequences of problem gambling. Many advocates and lawmakers are calling for stronger regulations to protect individuals from the detrimental effects of excessive gambling.
News Corp has yet to respond to the allegations, but the controversy surrounding CODE Bet raises questions about the ethics of promoting gambling in a country with such significant gambling-related issues.
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