The Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames have joined Reclaim the Game and will reject sports betting sponsorships and advertising, in a first for Australian basketball.
Reclaim the Game is a partnership program to counter the normalisation of sports betting and advertising in sport and to raise awareness of gambling harms. The program helps fans to enjoy sport, free from betting advertising and sponsorships.
Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames join a growing list of clubs which have taken a stance against sports betting advertising. Cricket’s Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder, AFL’s Sydney Swans and the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Macarthur FC have all signed up to the program and are helping their players, fans and communities to be gamble aware.
Chairman and Owner of the Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames, Paul Smith, said the partnership is important.
“It speaks to our commitment to social and community responsibility,” Mr. Smith said.
“Our own players have been victim to abuse on social media because betting got out of hand. By working with GambleAware, we are encouraging our fans and the community to stay within their means and to not let betting take away from what sport should be about.”
More than $270 million was spent on gambling advertising in Australia in 2018. Recent research by the Office of Responsible Gambling revealed 77 per cent of the community believe there is too much gambling advertising. Four in five believe advertising increases the risk of developing a problem with gambling.
Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, Natalie Wright, said online betting is endemic in sport, and wagering sponsorships kept gambling front and centre in the minds of audiences.
“We’re seeing sports betting advertising in almost every aspect of sport which sends a message that betting is part and parcel of enjoying sport,” Ms. Wright said.
“Gambling advertising’s whole purpose is to convince you to place a bet.
“Reclaim the Game is about creating a space for fans to enjoy sport without betting advertising and reducing their exposure to advertising and promotions which can lead to risky gambling.”
The Office of Responsible Gambling is in discussions with other clubs and expects to announce new Reclaim the Game partners in 2022.
If you or someone you care about needs support or advice, please call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential help and support 24/7 or visit gambleaware.nsw.gov.au.
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