The Sydney Uni Flames and Sydney Kings have announced their move to opt-out of sports betting advertising. Both New South Wales basketball teams said they are a part of the ‘Reclaim the Game’ initiative This is a state government initiative to shun all forms of sports betting advertising and sponsorship.
The Reclaim the Game initiative is a product of the New South Wales Office of Responsible Gambling. This initiative aims to reverse the effects of sports advertising and betting normalization. All this while raising awareness around gambling harms.
The Sydney Kings play in the National Basketball League. Sydney Uni Flames play in the Women’s National Basketball League. Joining this initiative makes the two teams the first basketball clubs in the country to opt out of sports advertising and betting sponsorship.
Also backing this scheme are several cricket clubs and football teams in the A-League. These include:
The chairman and owner of the two basketball teams commented on the move to join the initiative. Paul Smith said this shows the commitment toward community and social responsibility. Mr. Smith further pointed out the teams’ players have been direct victims of social media abuse. This is after betting went out of hand.
Mr. Smith concluded by saying the partnership with GambleAware is a move to encourage fans and the community at large to bet within their limits. And not let sports betting steal what sport is about.
The Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling also commented on the whole issue of sports betting ads interfering with the core of the game. Natalie Wright said sports betting advertising has its roots in almost every sports sector. The Director says this is a message broadcast to stakeholders that betting is now part of sports.
The main aim of gambling ads is to convince consumers to place bets. But Reclaim the Game is an initiative aimed at creating a space for sports lovers to enjoy sports without betting ads in the picture. It also aims to reduce fans’ exposure to promos and ads with the potential to cause problem gambling.
There are also plans to partner with more clubs. This is according to the Office of Responsible Gambling. And it’s set to announce the partners of this initiative in 2022.
The joining of the two basketball teams to the Reclaim the Game scheme comes at the back of an announcement by the South Australian government. The government partnered with Adelaide United from the A-league in a campaign to fortify positive sporting aspects outside gambling.
The partnership is set to run for three years with the government committing AUS$328,000 to fund media ads as well as outdoor and social media ‘Here For The Game’ campaigns.
The adverts will target the idea that fans can still enjoy sports without betting. ‘Here for the memories, not for the early bet payouts’ message will feature along with ‘Here for the fans, not odds-on favorites.’