THE LAUNCESTON Tornadoes could have a new sponsorship option next year if a trial program to make the Hobart Chargers ambassadors for an anti-gambling program is successful.
The Chargers secured a $35,000 deal with the Know Your Odds responsible gambling campaign, funded through the poker machine Community Services Levy.
Human Services Minister Cassy O'Connor said the players would become community ambassadors for the campaign, and spread the anti-gambling message to young people in the community and schools.
Ms O'Connor said the Department of Health and Human Services was in talks with a North- West netball team about a similar deal, and would look at rolling out the program to more sporting clubs.
"We are open to approaches from any sporting club ... this is just the beginning of this type of sponsorship campaign," Ms O'Connor said.
Energy Bank Launceston Tornadoes chairwoman Janie Finlay said the club had secured enough sponsorship to solve financial woes that threatened to shut it down last year, but would consider applying for the Community Services Levy funding next year.
"It's fantastic that the Chargers have got that funding, for elite-level basketball in Tasmania any and all levels of support is greatly appreciated," Ms Finlay said.
Tornadoes board member and Rosevears MLC Kerry Finch said the club had pulled itself out of a $50,000 debt last year and was now $12,000 in the black, thanks to community support and a new naming-rights sponsor.
Last February the Launceston City Council gave the club $15,000 in emergency funding to keep it operational.
North-West Thunder chairman Gerry Callander said there might be scope for Tasmania's three South East Australian Basketball League Teams to join the campaign together.
Mr Callander said the North- West club did not know the funding was available but may apply next year.
Hobart Chargers president Brett Johnstone said the club made a detailed submission to the department to secure the funding.
The Community Service Levy is funded through the losses made on Tasmanian poker machines.
Tasmanians lost about $200 million last year.