The Love the Game (LTG) relationships of Victoria’s ten AFL clubs and AFL Victoria have been extended until October 2024, at which point all will have been free of sports betting sponsorships for at least five years.
Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation CEO Shane Lucas made the announcement today, saying that sports fans in Victoria were tired of betting advertisements and their misleading portrayal of gambling as a risk-free activity.
‘It is profoundly disturbing that young men aged 18 to 24 years are the lfargest group of sports bettors in Victoria, accounting for 32%, and that young women’s participation in sports betting is increasing.’
‘It’s no accident that this is the first generation to have grown up with constant advertising for sports gambling items,’ says one expert. Mr. Lucas stated.
According to Nielsen, the gambling sector will spend a whopping $271.3 million on advertising in Australia in 2020, excluding sponsorships and in-program material.
In the same year, a La Trobe University poll of 17,000+ fans from Victorian athletic teams discovered that an overwhelming majority – 88% – believe young people are overexposed to sports betting advertisements. A more recent AFL Fans Association study identified gambling advertising as the second most serious worry, trailing only umpiring/rule changes.
‘It’s apparent that Victorians don’t want their children to grow up thinking it’s normal to wager on sports,’ Mr Lucas said. ‘I’m delighted that our AFL clubs are showing not only that they understand supporters’ concerns, but also that they recognize the risks connected with sports betting, particularly among young people.’
The Foundation’s Love the Game Sporting Club Program, which began in 2014, is Australia’s largest (650+ partners) and longest-running campaign to counteract the normalization of sports gambling. It attempts to decrease young people’s exposure to sportsboook betting promotions while also providing them with the tools to think critically about the risks connected with gambling.
AFL CLUBS QUOTES AND AFL VICTORIA GEELONG FC QUOTES
CEO Steve Hocking
We are able to work closely with the Foundation through our long-standing collaboration to help educate and raise awareness of gambling harm in the community.’
Jeremy Cameron, LTG ambassador and player
‘I’m honored to be a Love the Game ambassador once more, to assist young fans love the game for what it is, not for the odds.’
NORTH MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB
CEO Ben Amarfio
‘Our strong community orientation is a major component of what our club stands for. We cannot retain that position while also opposing problem gambling; the links between societal and familial harm are apparent.
‘We are delighted to be extending our association with the Foundation, bringing our relationship to an eight-year milestone.’
Aidan Corr, LTG ambassador and player
‘I’m honored to be a part of a club that collaborates with such an outstanding organization.’
‘I’m excited to continue spreading the Foundation’s message as we try to reduce the normalization of sports betting.’
FC WESTERN BULLDOGS
CEO Ameet Bains
‘We recognize the necessity of a collaborative approach to addressing this issue, and the collaboration of all Victorian clubs will further enhance our message.’
‘We recognize that gambling harm can be a big problem in our community, and that the prominence of sports betting advertising contributes to the normalization of the activity, particularly among young guys.’ Our goal is to champion the enjoyment of our great game in a natural way, without the need for sports betting.’
Coach Luke Beveridge
‘We’re proud to be a club like the Western Bulldogs that chooses to decriminalize sports betting.
‘We’ve witnessed firsthand the terrible impact that excessive sports betting can have on individuals, and we recognize the implications for our players’ performance.’ We want to enjoy the game for what it is, not because of the odds.’
MELBOURNE UNITED FC
CEO Gary Pert
‘The Melbourne Football Club is happy to join other Victorian AFL clubs in teaching parents and young supporters about the dangers of sports betting.’ We join together to raise awareness of gambling harm and to combat the normalization of sports gambling.’
Ben Brown, LTG ambassador and player
‘I am honored to be a member of a club that recognizes the impact gaming can have not only on individuals, but also on entire communities.’ As an ambassador for Love the Game, I wish to help educate our young fans to appreciate the game for what it is, rather than the odds.’
CEO Mark Anderson
‘The Foundation is a significant partner that spans all of our codes within the club.’ Collingwood has been a proud partner of the Foundation for almost eight years because we believe we can help reduce sports betting marketing and the harm gambling causes in the community.
‘It’s critical to remember why we adore this fantastic game.’
Captain Scott Pendlebury
‘It’s critical that young fans learn to appreciate our game for what it is, rather than for the odds of sports betting.’
‘Whether it’s seeing your team march through the flag each week or seeing your favorite player perform in a landmark match, focus on the qualities of the game that provide you joy rather than the highs and lows of betting.’
FC ST KILDA
CEO Matt Finnis
‘We are honored to be a part of such a strong contingent of Victorian athletic clubs in support of this cause.’
‘We’ve treasured the opportunity to work with the Foundation for several years now to help educate the public about the dangers of compulsive gambling, particularly the proliferation of sports betting.’
HAWTHORN FOOTBALL CLUB
CEO Justin Reeves
‘Hawthorn is happy to unite with all Victorian AFL clubs and partner with the Foundation as we fight to decrease the suffering caused by gambling and commit to creating greater changes for our community,’ says the club.
Senior coach Sam Mitchell
‘As an elite athletic club, it is critical that we use our position to guarantee that young fans enjoy and celebrate our game for what it is, not for the odds,’ says the club’s president.
CEO Brendon Gale
‘We are delighted to be able to contribute to reducing the impact of sports betting in the community, particularly for young people.’
‘Fans are the lifeblood of our game, and we want each and every one of our members and supporters to be able to enjoy everything involved with our AFL and AFLW games in a safe environment.’ We look forward to collaborating with the other nine Victorian clubs on this issue.’
Shane Edwards, LTG ambassador and player
‘I am delighted to be a part of the Club’s cooperation with the Foundation, particularly its work to protect young supporters.’
‘We want the game and its thrilling essence to continue to attract new generations of fans without the added risk that sports gambling entails.’
CEO Xavier Campbell
‘Having all ten Victorian AFL clubs collaborate to lessen the impact of sports betting advertising will have long-term advantages for the game and our fans.’
‘It is critical that we all commit as a group to reduce potential sports betting harm in the community, especially when involving a younger generation of followers.’
Andrew McGrath, LTG ambassador and player
‘I am honored to be a member of a club that is dedicated to lowering the normalization of sports betting in the larger community.’
‘I hope that fans can appreciate the game for what it is, rather than just the odds, and that fans recognize the impact that their betting-related reactions can have on a player and their performance.’
Harry McKay, LTG ambassador and player
‘I’m proud of our football club and everything it’s doing to fight the normalization of sports betting.’
‘It affects people at all levels of the game, from players who face online abuse as a result of gambling to young fans who are bombarded with odds.’ ‘Love the game, not the odds,’ is a slogan we are delighted to support.
AFL Director Ben Kavenagh
‘We want to make sure that we are looking after our clubs, leagues, and the larger AFL Victoria community.’ This collaboration is critical to this, as it addresses the normalization of sports betting culture and reduces sports betting promotion.’