Australia: Two Basketball Teams Join Reclaim the Game, Fight against Betting Advertising

Reclaim the Game is an initiative launched in 2020 by the Office of Responsible Gambling in Australia. The initiative aims to raise awareness of gambling harms and “counter the normalization of sports betting and advertising.”

Sydney Kings, Sydney Uni Flames: First Two Teams to Join Reclaim the Game Initiative

Sydney Uni Flames and the Sydney Kings became the first National Basketball League (NBL) teams in the country to join the new initiative. On Wednesday this week, the Office of Responsible Gambling announced that the teams joined the Reclaim the Game initiative in an effort the help sports fans enjoy the sport without betting sponsorship and advertising.

Joining Reclaim the Game, the two teams support the cause of other sports clubs which have already positioned themselves against sports betting advertising. Besides the Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames, the initiative was joined by cricket teams Sydney Thunder and Sydney Sixers.

Moreover, AFL teams Sydney Swans, the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers FC, as well as Macarthur FC have already joined Reclaim the Game. This marks a cumulative combined effort as all clubs are aiming at raising gambling awareness and helping fans enjoy sports free from betting advertisements. More sports organizations are expected to join the initiative as partners next year, according to the Office of Responsible Gambling.

According to recent research by the Office of Responsible Gambling, some 77% of the community strongly believes that there is way too much gambling advertising. Moreover, 4 out of 5 people believe that gambling advertising increases the risk of problem gambling.

The Two Teams Are Committed to Social and Community Responsibility

Natalie Wright, the director of the Office of Responsible Gambling acknowledged that by advertising gambling, companies want to convince sports fans to place bets. In fact, according to her, the growing presence of gambling ads within sports “sends a message that betting is part and parcel of enjoying sport.” Wright added that thanks to Reclaim the Game, sports fans can enjoy sports without betting advertising or exposure to promotions.

Paul Smith, chairman and owner of the Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames stressed that the teams’ players have become victims of social media abuse over sports betting. Moreover, he added that the new collaboration reaffirms the teams’ “commitment to social and community responsibility.” In conclusion, Smith revealed that by joining forces with GambleAware, the teams are encouraging the community and sports fans not to abuse betting and enjoy sports for what they are.

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