25/11/2021 | Michelle Lensink MLC | Better Services

A rise in South Australians engaging in risky sports gambling has resulted in a state-first partnership between the Marshall Liberal Government and Adelaide United Football Club which is reminding fans the real reasons they love sport.

Launched in time for United’s first home game of the season, the new Here For The Game campaign will be rolled out on TV, radio, online, social media and on-ground, outdoor advertising reinforcing the positive aspects of sport outside of gambling.

It comes following a bold decision by Adelaide United to turn down popular sports betting partnerships and instead, partner with the State Government to tackle the rising issue.

The Marshall Liberal Government has committed $328,000 to the campaign as part of a three-year partnership with the Club.

The Reds’ three player ambassadors, women’s forward Chelsie Dawber, men’s Captain Stefan Mauk, and men’s rising star Mohamed Toure star in the campaign and will aid in spreading the key messaging.

The ads feature strong imagery and messaging including “Here for the memories, not for the early bet payouts”, “Here for the fans, not odds on favourites” and “Here for my heroes, not for my multi.”

Minister for Human Services Michelle Lensink said the Here For The Game campaign will challenge the normalisation of sports betting.

“Sports betting is the fastest-growing form of gambling in South Australian and this is a huge concern, particularly among our young people,” said Minister Lensink.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is 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 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.”

Adelaide United Chief Executive Officer Nathan Kosmina said the Club’s involvement is driven by a desire to put community well-being ahead of accepting sports betting partnerships.

“We want our supporters and community to focus on the positive involvement that football can have on their lives,” said Mr Kosmina.

“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 Australians have good reason to be concerned about the growth in sports betting advertising and behaviours, with the latest DHS commissioned Gambling Attitudes Survey finding:

  • Sports betting is the only gambling activity in which participation has steadily increased since 2005
  • 78 per cent of respondents are concerned by how much sports betting advertising children are exposed to
  • 83 per cent agree that betting advertising makes children think that gambling on sport is normal.
  • 32 per cent of SA sports bettors gamble at risky levels compared to 27 per cent of poker machine players;
  • SA losses on sports betting have multiplied over three-fold to $8.25 million from 2005 to 2019;
  • Three quarters of 8 to 16-year-olds survey could name at least one sports betting company

The State Government has also contributed an additional $1 million a year into the Gamblers’ Rehabilitation Fund (GRF).

To coincide with SA Gambling Harm Awareness Week, the State Government has launched a new Minimising Gambling Harm in SA - Investment Plan 2021-26, which sets a clear vision for minimising gambling harm.

For more information about Here For The Game, plus resources including a guide on how to talk to children about gambling, visit the website at www.hereforthegame.com.au