Edition #2: Gambling today

L to R: Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett, North Melbourne Football Club chief executive Carl Dilena, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo, photo: Paul Jeffers

Clubs pledge to keep kids and betting apart

Seven of Australia's largest sporting clubs, with membership of more than 330 thousand and millions more supporters, have signed a commitment to keep gambling away from young fans.

The clubs, including a majority of Victorian AFL clubs along with reigning Hyundai A-league premiers Melbourne Victory, signed the responsible gambling charter to kick off Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2015.

The AFL clubs to sign include three-time flag winners Hawthorn along with Collingwood and North Melbourne, as well as Essendon, St Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.

A strong message

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo says the clubs have sent a strong message that the normalisation of gambling as part of sport has crossed the line.

'By signing the charter, these clubs have made a clear decision not to promote gambling to kids,' he said.

Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett praised the clubs for their vow to promote responsible gambling and decision to disentangle betting and sports.

'This shows a real commitment to protecting hundreds of thousands of young people who love their clubs, to protect them from the harm that can come from problem gambling,' she said.

View video transcript

Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert says gambling responsibly is the only way to gamble.

'Knowing your limits and remaining within them is an important message we try to drive home to our fans, our players and our staff.'

'Re-committing to the responsible gambling charter is a highly visible and effective way we can continue to do that,' he said.

Western Bulldogs president Peter Gordon says clubs have a leadership role to play in the community.

'We are proud to partner with the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation in this important initiative. As a club, and leader in our community, we take our responsibility in this space very seriously,' he said.

'By signing the charter, these clubs have made a clear decision not to promote gambling to kids.'

Serge Sardo

The foundation is also working with the AFL Players' Association to help educate players from all clubs.

Brett Johnson, general manager of player welfare, says the foundation has important support services and knowledge to draw from. 

'The association is committed to ensuring players are well educated and informed about the risks of developing gambling problems, and they are provided with effective support should they or their families experience problems.

'We will work with the foundation to tap into their resources and expertise in this area,' he said.

Minister for gaming regulation Jane Garrett, North Melbourne Football ClubL to R: Melbourne Victory chief executive Ian Robson, Essendon chief marketing officer Justin Rodski, Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Jane Garrett, St Kilda chief executive Matthew Finnis, Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo, North Melbourne chief executive Carl Dilena, Hawthorn chief executive Stuart Fox, Collingwood chief executive Gary Pert, Western Bulldogs chief executive David Stevenson, photo: Paul Jeffers

The charter – what it means

The Responsible Gambling Charter is the cornerstone of the foundation's Gambling's not a Game sporting clubs program, which has grown to around 150 elite and local sporting clubs in just two years.

By signing the charter, clubs agree to:

  • maintain a distinct separation between gambling and sporting activities
  • refrain from displaying sports betting or gambling-related signage in or around the club
  • refrain from signing sponsorship deals with sports betting agencies which would see them promoting gambling to young people under 18.

'Knowing your limits and remaining within them is an important message we try to drive home to our fans, our players and our staff.'

Gary Pert

Importantly, clubs signing the charter who also have gaming machines are committing to engaging with the foundation to implement best practice in responsible gambling within their venues.

This means ensuring staff are trained to identify and help people who are having problems with gambling and to ensure the line between kids and gambling activities isn't blurred. Read more about how the foundation is helping venues provide safer environments.

Download the charter (PDF - 808.3 KB).

You can also read more about how the program is helping clubs bring the focus back to enjoyment of the game in this edition of Inside gambling.

If your club wants to be a part of the growing sporting clubs program, visit Gambling's not a Game or call the senior partnerships coordinator on (03) 9452 2659.

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