- NSW’s Office of Responsible Gambling has partnered with Cricket NSW to stop wagering advertising and promotion at NSW Big Bash League events for two years.
- The move, which comes in addition to an existing ban on gambling advertising on free-to-air television broadcasts of their matches, is a first for Australian professional sport leagues.
- Cricket NSW says that it will create a more “family friendly” experience for viewers and attendees.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
With the gambling industry cementing itself as a major part of the Australian professional sporting experience, one state sporting body is bucking the trend.
On Thursday, Cricket NSW and the NSW Office of Responsible Gambling officially announced a two-year ‘GambleAware’ partnership, which includes a ban on sports betting advertising and sponsorship on the association’s matches.
In practice, it means there will be no advertising at the grounds where professional Big Bash games are played in NSW, adding to the existing ban on free-to-air broadcasts.
GambleAware will be the official partner of Cricket NSW’s brands: the NSW Blues, the NSW Breakers, the Sydney Sixers and the Sydney Thunder teams.
The partnership — announced during the NSW Government’s GambleAware week — is the first of its ‘Reclaim the Game’ program. The initiative was launched this year in response to the growth of online sports betting.
John Dalzell is chair of the of the Responsible Gambling Fund, a body that advises the NSW Government on the use of funds raised through a levy on casino licenses to reduce the harms associated with gambling.
Dalzell welcomed the partnership, saying it will help address the normalisation of sports betting and raise awareness of the risks of gambling.
“Having matches free of gambling advertising means families can reclaim the game and go back to enjoying sport without the concern that children are being constantly exposed to sports betting promotions,” he said in a statement.
“It will remove the assumption that gambling is a normal part of cricket and it will refocus attention back on the game and the players; the way it should be.”
Cricket NSW CEO Lee German said he hoped the partnership will make a positive contribution to changing community attitudes towards sports betting.
“We recognise the impact that constant sports betting advertising can have on young people and their families – particularly young men,” he said.
“The idea that kids are led to believe gambling is a normal part of sport is a real concern, so this is a step in the right direction that we’re proud to be taking.”
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