Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews gets heavily criticized for alleging themselves with sports betting companies


<strong>Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, and Auston Matthews gets heavily criticized for alleging themselves with sports betting companies</strong>

Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews [Image Credit: Westfair Communications/HockeyFeed]

Dark clouds hover over NHL ice as three of its stars get heavily criticized for proudly showing off in sports betting ads all over Ontario, Canada. NHL legend Wayne Gretzky along with young players like Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews have signed deals with sports betting companies.

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Sports betting ads featuring celebrities are banned all over the U.K., but things took a different turn for Ontario. ‘The Great One’ and McDavid are acting as brand ambassadors for big gambling companies in Bet MGM’s commercial, while Matthews joined hands with Bet99.

During game intervals, their advertisements are spread all over the television channel which is currently being criticized. The three NHL stars were contacted by CBC’s The Fifth Estate as part of a gambling investigation, but they refused to answer any questions related to their sponsorships.

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Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews refuse interview with ‘The Fifth Estate

Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews [Image Credit: The Toronto Star/GQ/Pinterest]
Wayne Gretzky, Connor McDavid, Auston Matthews [Image Credit: The Toronto Star/GQ/Pinterest]

The Fifth Estate following U.K.’s example wants to ban sports betting ads, as it heavily impacts children who know nothing better. Constantly being shown such ads during intervals is addicting and tempting the young generation in the wrong way.

NDP member of Parliament for Windsor West said pointing at the NHL players, “They have already been successful in their careers. Their value … should be their performance, not about trying to influence people to go to a product to bet on them or their colleagues’ performance”.

“I think about the fact that you have kids that sit down with the parents and their other family members and they’re inundated during the game about betting on the people that they’re watching on the screen … common sense should stop some of this, but unfortunately it doesn’t appear that that’s the case at the moment.” 

As an ambassador for Bet MGM, Wayne Gretzky has a poster saying, “Every bet with BetMGM has a potential for greatness”. Hockey’s legend talking and promoting gambling is not a good message he’s sending to the NHL’s younger generation as well as their fans.

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When interviewed by The Fifth Estate, Auston Matthews commented, “I appreciate the question, but after all of that I don’t think I’m going to get into it much, honestly”. “You guys have any more hockey-related questions?”. “I would just like to keep on that if that’s OK. If not, we can just move forward.”

Will Prochaska, strategy director with Gambling with Lives, a U.K. group who are strictly controlling the gambling circle said regarding the event, “I suspect history would judge them very harshly”. 

“They would have been offered enormous sums of money to I think sully their own reputations in the interest of profit for the gambling operators. I suspect they don’t understand the damage that they’re doing.”

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