NSW clubs extend participation in Reclaim the Game initiative

Cricket NSW and A-League football clubs  have extended their participation in the NSW government’s initiative.
Cricket NSW and A-League football clubs have extended their participation in the NSW government’s initiative.

Reclaim the Game is an awareness initiative that seeks to challenge the idea that betting is a normal part of watching sport. 

Australia.- Cricket NSW and A-League football clubs Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Macarthur FC have extended their participation in the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative. Launched in late 2020, the initiative aims to challenge claims the “normalisation of sports betting and advertising.”

Under the partnership, sports betting advertising is prohibited at the home games of Cricket NSW’s Big Bash teams, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder, as well as their state teams, the NSW Blues and NSW Breakers. 

Anthony Keon, CEO of Hospitality and Racing, said: “The extended partnerships are a strong show of faith in Reclaim the Game as sporting franchises realise the importance of rejecting sports betting advertising and promoting gambling awareness among their supporters.

“We now have fourteen teams from five codes turning down sports betting sponsorships and making gambling awareness and education an important part of their work.”

Lee Germon, Cricket NSW CEO, said: “Since joining forces with the Office of Responsible Gambling, Cricket NSW has made a meaningful contribution towards changing the community’s attitudes towards betting on sport.

“We’re proud to be able to continue to play an active part in educating children that gambling is not a part of sport, and that gambling on sport is a bad bet. Cricket NSW will continue to do all we can to counter the constant sports betting advertising and the adverse effect it has on young people – young men, in particular – and their families.”

Western Sydney Wanderers’ partnership has been extended for a further two seasons and includes the women’s team for the first time. Macarthur FC has signed on for an extra season. These extensions will be in place for the upcoming A-league season which kicks off on Friday 7 October.

See also: Australians lost over US$7.74bn on poker machines in 2021

Scott Hudson, Western Sydney Wanderers CEO, said: “We are delighted that this partnership has now extended to our A-League Women’s team, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Reclaim the Game over the next two years.”

Sam Krslovic, Macarthur FC Group CEO, added: “We are proud to continue our partnership with Reclaim the Game and be part of this positive initiative. Our community wellbeing is our primary focus and we feel it is important to promote a healthy connection between our game and our fans.”

Christian groups call for gambling reforms in New South Wales

Two Sydney church leaders have released a statement calling for reforms to gambling regulation in New South Wales. Anglican dean Sandy Grant and Wesley Mission CEO Stu Cameron have demanded reforms, arguing that NSW poker machine losses were around twice as high as in other states.

They have called for dollar limits on pokies, a smart card system for cashless gaming and a ceiling on the number of machines in clubs. In the letter shared by vision.org.au, the ministers said: “As pastors, we can’t remain silent as we hear from people experiencing gambling addiction, who are at risk of physical self-harm, family members impacted by gambling harm facing repossession of a car or furniture, or even children going hungry.”

The Australian gaming industry is in a state of flux owing to changes in gaming regulation in several states. The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs has launched an inquiry into online gambling and its impact on people with gambling problems. 

The committee said it will examine how to better target programs to address online problem gambling to reduce the potential exploitation of at-risk people and protect individuals, families and communities. It will also analyse the quality of and access to online gambling education programmes and the appropriateness of gambling regulations in light of emerging technologies, payment options and products. The committee is taking written submissions until November 11

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