Sport

Minister for Sport Shane Rattenbury slams Brumbies sponsorship deal

Minister for Sport and Recreation Shane Rattenbury has slammed an $8 million Brumbies sponsorship deal with Aquis on Twitter.

The Greens MLA tweeted it was a "shame our successful and well loved Brumbies couldn't find a more socially responsible sponsor".

AQUIS is the new major sponsor of the Brumbies.
AQUIS is the new major sponsor of the Brumbies. Photo: Melissa Adams

The Brumbies announced what is the biggest sponsorship deal in the club's history Wednesday afternoon.

The move is set to make the club profitable after three years of financial losses, including a $1.07 million deficit last season which triggered a boardroom shake-up.

Shane Rattenbury.
Shane Rattenbury. Photo: Jeffrey Chan

Mr Rattenbury said he was concerned about the deal's impact on problem gambling.

"Problem gambling can destroy lives and families. I am concerned about normalising gambling behaviour and associating it with sport, and I would prefer not to see our sports teams sponsored by gambling companies," he said.

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"The Brumbies are a great asset to Canberra, they are very successful and have a great following. While it is good to see they have secured ongoing sponsorship, it is disappointing they were unable to secure a deal with a more socially responsible investor."

Brumbies CEO Michael Jones said he was disappointed with Mr Rattenbury's response, pointing out the ACT government had introduced Aquis to the club.

"It is a bit disappointing for Shane to do this [but] I understand and respect his views," Mr Jones said.

"We expected people would ... perhaps draw conclusions in regard to this.

"Yes, they currently own Canberra Casino, but they have much bigger plans in relation to the development of that area of Canberra.

"They have a very socially responsible attitude towards problem gambling, they're smart enough to understand all that and fully supportive of any measures in relation to that."