“The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation is encouraged to learn that another of Victoria’s AFL clubs, Collingwood FC, has made the decision to rescind its interests in gaming,” the Foundation’s acting CEO, Craig Swift, said this afternoon.
“We congratulate Collingwood Football Club President Eddie McGuire and the club’s board for this decision, and acknowledge its leadership in protecting members, fans and the wider footy-loving Victorian community from experiencing pokies-related gambling harm,” Mr Swift said.
“Collingwood Football Club has now joined other clubs in demonstrating a new commitment to social responsibility in an industry that has relied heavily for many years on revenue from a product associated with harm.
“We look forward to the remaining clubs considering their options for getting out of pokies and to a day when we don’t need to remind people that sport and gambling don’t have to go together, a day when celebrating our love of the game, and not the odds, is the ‘new’ normal.”
Mr Swift said the Foundation was proud to partner with all 10 Victorian AFL clubs through the Love the Game sporting club program, which aims to disrupt the normalisation of gambling in sport by reducing the exposure, particularly of young people, to sports betting advertising.
Similarly, the engagement of more than 300 community clubs around the state in the Love the Game program illustrates the value Victorians place on sharing their appreciation of sport for the joy it offers to players and spectators alike.
“It is entirely appropriate that Collingwood FC has chosen to make this significant announcement in the week leading up to the dedicated, state-wide Love the Game round on 20–22 July.
“The power of footy is incredibly positive in its ability to reach communities far and wide, to influence the emotions of young and old, and to bring together people from all walks of life.
“Anyone can be affected by gambling harm, which makes it a community issue that requires a community response.
“We acknowledge the important additional step Collingwood FC is taking towards meeting this responsibility,” Mr Swift said.