The Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation has welcomed the news today that Western Bulldogs FC has finalised arrangements to divest itself of any interest in pokies.
An early partner of the Foundation’s Love the Game Sporting Club program, the Doggies made a formal commitment to say ‘no’ to sports betting sponsorship in 2016.
“I commend the Western Bulldogs Board and CEO Ameet Bains on taking this next step in separating sport from gambling,” Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said.
“We recognise the financial challenge for AFL clubs in getting out of pokies and, as such, applaud those making a choice not to support the normalisation of gambling and sport.
“Sport is about loving the game and valuing the positive outcomes for all involved, including team spirit, a sense of belonging, discipline, leadership and fun.
“Young people should be able to enjoy sports without being inundated with gambling ads that imply betting is risk-free and a normal part of the game.”
Mr Lucas said community sentiment on the issue was clear. The Foundation’s 2018 community attitudes survey found that 68 per cent of Victorians think gambling should not be a part of experiencing sport and 74 per cent think adolescents are exposed to too much gambling advertising.
“The Western Bulldogs, along with the Geelong Cats, are leaders in acting to further limit the exposure of young people to gambling advertising by refusing to have it displayed at their home stadiums,” he said.
The Foundation is proud to partner with all 10 Victorian AFL clubs and other sporting bodies to reduce the exposure of young people to sports betting promotions and disrupt the normalisation of gambling in sport.
The Love the Game program has more than 400 elite and community club members around the state that work hard to remind young people to love the game, not the odds.