Australian basketball teams the Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames have joined Reclaim the Game, a partnership program which counters the normalisation of sports betting and advertising in sport.
The duo will reject sports betting sponsorships and advertising in what is a first for Australian basketball. Reclaim the Game also aims to raise awareness of gambling harms, and helps fans enjoy sport that is free from betting advertising and sponsorships.
The two clubs join a growing list of sports teams which have taken a stand against sports betting advertising, with AFL’s Sydney Swans, cricket’s Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder, and the A-League’s Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Macarthur FC having all signed up to the program.
“It speaks to our commitment to social and community responsibility,” said Sydney Kings and Sydney Uni Flames Chairman and Owner Paul Smith.
“Our own players have been victim to abuse on social media because betting got out of hand. By working with GambleAware, we are encouraging our fans and the community to stay within their means and to not let betting take away from what sport should be about.”
Recent research from the Office of Responsible Gambling found that 77% of the community believe there is too much gambling advertising, with four in five people believing that advertising increases the risk of problem gambling.
Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, Natalie Wright, commented: “We’re seeing sports betting advertising in almost every aspect of sport which sends a message that betting is part and parcel of enjoying sport.
“Gambling advertising’s whole purpose is to convince you to place a bet.
“Reclaim the Game is about creating a space for fans to enjoy sport without betting advertising and reducing their exposure to advertising and promotions which can lead to risky gambling.”