Collingwood Football Club is taking a leadership role off the field as the latest sporting club to sign the responsible gambling charter and commit to protecting young people from the risks of gambling.
Collingwood chief executive officer Gary Pert says signing the charter shows the club’s commitment to this important social issue.
"We aren’t anti-gambling but we do share community concerns about the effects of gambling on sport, and in particular on young people. By taking a responsible approach to gambling, we are putting the wellbeing of our players, members and fans first," said Mr Pert.
Collingwood Football Club is the 21st club to sign the charter, and the biggest club to commit to responsible gambling boasting over 80,000 members and over one million supporters.
The charter is the centrepiece of the Foundation’s ‘Gambling’s not a game’ program for sporting clubs which encourages sporting clubs across Victoria to educate their members, officials and fans about the risks of gambling and to promote responsible gambling.
Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo says the program aims to counter the growing culture of gambling in clubs.
"Signing the charter is a commitment to minimising the exposure of gambling activities and advertising to young people, and helping clubs focus on the love of the game, not gambling," he said.
Mr Pert says gambling should be about entertainment, in balance with other aspects of lives.
"At our club, we’re about side by side. We’re about looking after your family and friends, and the people around you, and that includes being responsible when it comes to gambling," said Mr Pert.
Star forward and Gambling’s not a game ambassador Travis Cloke says responsible gambling is about staying in control.
"It’s fine to have a punt so long as you keep things in check. Set yourself a limit and stick to it. And remember to look after your mates so gambling doesn’t become a problem for you or anyone close to you," he said.
Gary Pert features in the Foundation’s videos for Responsible Gambling Awareness Week where he sends a strong and clear message about the importance of responsible gambling in sporting clubs.
"Every sporting club, including AFL clubs, has a responsibility to their supporters and members to ensure that under 18s aren’t bombarded with gambling advertising on a daily basis," said Mr Pert.