Three-time All-Australian, Geelong premiership player and new dad Jeremy Cameron today reaffirmed his commitment as an ambassador for the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Love the Game program.
As part of the program, Victorians are encouraged to participate in a challenge to show they love the game, not the odds by finding ways to talk about sport without referring to the betting odds and starting a conversation about the risks associated with gambling.
‘Fatherhood has given me an even greater awareness of the importance of ensuring children grow up in safe, positive environments,’ Cameron said.
‘Gambling ads are everywhere these days and I’m concerned about the message they’re sending to young people about the value of playing and watching sport.
‘When I first started playing footy in Dartmoor, and then later with the Ballarat Rebels, my focus was always on being part of a team and improving my skills to be the best player possible.
‘That hasn’t changed. I have never considered the odds of winning a match or how my performance might be pivotal to the outcome of a multi, and I don’t want my daughter to grow up in an environment where betting on sport is accepted as normal.
‘I’m fortunate to be part of such a family friendly club where teaching kids to love the game, not the odds is a priority. I’m also proud Geelong says no to gambling sponsorships and that there are no sports betting ads at the Cattery during home games.’
Foundation CEO Shane Lucas thanked Cameron for his continued commitment to the Love the Game program, and noted that AFL fans are joined by the broader Victorian community in their concerns about the association between sport and gambling.
‘Jeremy has been a fantastic ambassador for Love the Game and we are delighted to continue our partnership with him and the Cats,’ Mr Lucas said.
‘Since 2012, gambling industry expenditure on ads has more than tripled and it’s very clear that this does not meet community standards.
‘Love the Game seeks to address the saturation levels of gambling messaging young people are exposed to through industry promotions by showing them that they don’t have to have a bet to enjoy watching a footy match with mates.’
More than 700 clubs in a range of sporting codes across the state are Love the Game partners, including Victoria’s 10 AFL clubs. They reject sponsorships from gambling providers, raise community awareness about the risks associated with gambling and teach kids to think critically about their choices.