In an environment in which sports betting advertising is prolific, and sport and betting are increasingly seen as going hand-in-hand, we have an obligation to engage with young people and inform them about the risks and potential harms associated with gambling, according to Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation acting CEO Craig Swift.
“Children born in this millennium have not experienced sport without betting, so we shouldn’t be surprised to learn that 75 per cent of kids – three quarters of 8 to 16-year-olds – think betting on sport is normal,” Mr Swift said today.
“Sports betting is the fastest growing type of gambling in Australia and sports betting advertising is everywhere, so it’s not uncommon for people to talk about the odds of a team winning, by how much, or who will kick the most goals. Access to betting is also now easier than ever.”
This weekend’s dedicated, state-wide Love the Game-themed round will remind Victorians that sport and betting don’t have to go together, and encourage parents, teachers, coaches and other influential adults to talk to kids about the realities of gambling.
All 10 of Victoria’s elite AFL clubs are Love the Game sporting club program partners and they, along with AFL Victoria, 23 Leagues & Commissions, local community clubs and Reclink Australia, are on board to participate in the round. In addition, Football Federation Victoria will hold its own Love the Game round.
Mr Swift said the clubs involved in the Love the Game round, which include two footy codes competing at a range of levels across the state, were demonstrating real leadership through their commitment to protect young people from gambling harm.
“As a community, we have a responsibility to equip kids to make informed, considered choices about gambling as they become adults, to assist them to avoid gambling harm or, if harm does occur, to recognise it and seek support.
“Starting the conversation can be as easy as asking kids if they’ve noticed sports betting ads on TV and what they think about them, or using one of the other suggestions on our website.
“Footy is for everyone to enjoy. It’s about loving the game, not the odds,” he said.
For more information, visit lovethegame.vic.gov.au or share your thoughts on social media, #LoveTheGame.