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Footy carnival counters normalisation of sports betting

More than 100 Victorians are expected to participate in Reclink Australia’s annual Love the Game carnival round, bringing together people experiencing disadvantage to play footy and build connections in a welcoming and supportive environment.

‘The Love the Game round gives players, coaches and fans an opportunity to appreciate the true value of sport, while raising awareness about the risks associated with gambling,’ Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said today.

‘The goals of the Foundation’s “Love the Game, not the odds” program align with those of Reclink Australia, which promotes health and wellbeing through activities, such as footy, for people at risk of harm, including gambling harm.

‘We’re proud to support Reclink’s all-inclusive football league. The League has 18 teams across Victoria that help promote good health and social connection and offer life-changing opportunities for people experiencing hardship,’ Mr Lucas said.

Reclink Football Coordinator Rhan Harris said the partnership, which began in 2017, is helping to equip young people with the knowledge and skills to assess risk and make informed, considered decisions about gambling.

‘Sport is a vehicle for change, so we’re thrilled to be hosting our third Love the Game round,’ he said.

‘Sports betting ads are everywhere you look and so insidious in their appeal to young men especially, who imagine big wins – without understanding that gambling can lead people to experience the complete opposite.

‘This is an important program because it brings joy to members of the community while raising awareness about an issue that can negatively affect anyone, especially the young and vulnerable.’

Reclink’s Love the Game carnival round will take place as follows:

10.30 am to 2.00 pm

Wednesday, 31 May 2023

RHL Sparks Reserve

Canterbury and Middleborough Road

Box Hill.

For more information about the Foundation’s Love the Game program, visit

Anyone negatively affected by their own or someone else’s gambling can access free and confidential advice, support and referral by calling the 24/7 Gambler’s Help line on 1800 858 858.

Media contact:
Fiona Skivington, Manager, Media & Communication
on +61428248931 or

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