‘Love the Game, not the Odds’ – Responsible Gambling

Many of us like to place the odd bet or play the lottery, but there is growing concern at the rise in the number of people having problems with sport betting. In some countries, anti-gambling campaigns target gamblers who bet at a level that causes problems in their personal life, their family relationships, their work and their life outside of work.
Problem gamblers are those who think about gambling a great deal of their time. They may lie about their gambling to others or gamble while bills remain unpaid. They may borrow money to finance their gambling and miss work because of gambling. Some problem gamblers will know they have a problem and feel anxious, depressed or suicidal after a gamble but are unable to quit.
Gambling awareness campaigns often focus on sport betting during big sporting events, but some don’t go quite to plan. Singapore’s National Council of Problem Gambling advert around the World Cup in 2014 originally showed a young boy telling his friend: ““I hope Germany wins. My dad bet all our savings on them.” Germany’s World Cup victory led the advertising team to quickly provide an update “Your dad’s team won. Did you get your savings back?”. “No, dad never stops, he wants to bet one more time”

‘Love the Game, Not the Odds’ advert

In Australia, betting advertising is banned during general classification television timeslots, but sports broadcasts are exempt, meaning children as young as eight can easily recall gambling brands and gambling sponsorships.

In 2016, the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation (VRGF) anti-gambling campaign focused on sport betting and the rise in problem teenage gamblers. Their campaign was to alert parents, teachers and society of the alarming statistics related to sport betting and children. Research by the VRGF revealed that between 60 and 70 per cent of children have gambled, despite being under-age, and one in 25 teenagers has a gambling problem.

The anti-gambling campaign advert encouraged parents to be aware of their child’s behaviour, especially if youngsters are quoting betting odds. The broader VRGF anti-gambling campaign included efforts to ban gambling sponsorships and advertisements in sport, and for parents to acknowledge that like drugs and unsafe sex, gambling should be spoken about with their children.
The anti-gambling campaigns of the VRGF has had some success: An increasing number of parents and young people are talking about problem gambling; whilst the Australian Football League (AFL) does not ban gambling sponsorships, 9 of the 10 Victorian based AFL teams now refuse sponsorship from sport betting and other gambling companies; and finally, Victoria is considering a ban on betting advertising on public transport and near schools.