South Australia partners Adelaide United to promote sports without gambling

| By Robert Fletcher
The South Australian government has linked up with A-League football club Adelaide United on a campaign to reinforce the positive aspects of sport outside of gambling.
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Under the new three-year partnership, the government will commit a total of AUS$328,000 (£175,133/€206,141/US$233,128) in funding for advertising across TV, radio, online, social media and outdoor to promote the ‘Here For The Game’ campaign.

These adverts will focus on the idea that fans can enjoy sport without gambling and feature messages such as ‘Here for the memories, not for the early bet payouts’ and ‘Here for the fans, not odds-on favourites’.

Adelaide United captain Stefan Mauk and young star Mohamed Toure will support the new campaign as ambassadors, alongside women’s forward Chelsie Dawber.

The new partnership comes after Adelaide United recently announced it would no longer form partnerships with sports betting brands.

“We want our supporters and community to focus on the positive involvement that football can have on their lives,” Adelaide United chief executive Nathan Kosmina said. “We know that the attitudes of young people towards gambling are heavily influenced by the sporting brands they engage with.

“Our obligation in this regard is to foster a love of the game first and foremost and to highlight the negative impact sports gambling can have.”

South Australia’s Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink added: “Sports betting is the fastest-growing form of gambling in South Australian and this is a huge concern, particularly among our young people.

“We are proud to partner with Adelaide United as we work together to raise awareness and educate South Australians about the risks attached to sports betting and ways to keep safe.

“Here For The Game has a focus on reaching young men, who are more likely to bet on sport, and their parents, who are the biggest influence on their children and their attitudes towards gambling.”

The launch of the campaign comes as the South Australian government also published the result of a survey that found 78% of respondents in the state were concerned about the amount of sports betting advertising children are exposed to.

The study also found 75% of eight to 16-year-olds could name at least one sports betting brand, with 83% of respondents saying betting advertising makes children think gambling on sport is normal.

In addition, 32% of bettors in the state were found to be wagering on sport at risky levels, while total sports betting losses in Australia increased threefold to $8.3m between 2005 and 2019.

“The research clearly shows we needed to tackle this issue from a young age and from the ground up, and that’s why using sports idols and fans to convey this message will be really powerful and hopefully make people think twice before they place a bet,” Lensink said.

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