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Casinos Place Their Bets on NRL Teams

There was no shortage of predictions floating around last month as the NRL finals came around, and the games that we saw have really just whet the appetite for more. The NRL finals are, like the AFL finals, a fantastic showcase for the game in Australia, and it’s great to see close games between great sides.

It could still be any of the six teams left in the mix that lifts the trophy come Grand Final day, but we know for sure that there will be folks at The Star Casino Sydney and Crown Casino Melbourne who’ll be glued to their TV sets, cheering on the teams that the casinos have got behind with sponsorship deals.

And it’s great to see the casinos raising their profile in such a positive way. Crown Melbourne have just agreed a new sponsorship deal with the Melbourne Storm that’s thought to be worth around a million dollars, and that’s money that will do much more than make sure ‘Crown Casinos’ is written on the backs of the shirts of the Storm boys when they take the field.

The Storm management has plans to develop the game in Victoria, especially with focus on bringing on young players like born-and-bred Victorian Mahe Fonua, who made his debut last month.

Melbourne Chief Executive Ron Gauci explained that he wants to keep the Storm ‘ahead of the pack.'

We’ll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration. We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development. We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen. For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit.’

It’s great to see the Australian Casinos – successful businesses that we think we can all be justly proud of, getting behind another Australian success story. And it’s not just Crown Casinos who are supporting NRL – The Star have an ongoing sponsorship deal with the Sydney Rabbitohs that gives their business rivalry with Crown another expression that we can all enjoy watching.

We wonder if there’s been any boardroom mention of the weekend’s game. It can’t have escaped anybody’s notice that Melbourne were too good for the Rabbitohs in their Qualifying Final. No reflection on the sponsors, of course, but that’s never stopped anyone making the most of their bragging rights in the past...


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