Harm associated with sports gambling finally arrives at AFL’s door

first_imgShare via Email Reuse this content Since you’re here… Read more Australian rules football Topics Of course, it is common sense that players should not be betting on AFL games in the context of match-fixing, but there is also an argument that they should not be betting at all so as to set an example for the younger generation to follow.At an average of $11,000 per adult in Australia, gambling has undoubtedly become an endemic issue. A report published by the Australian Gambling Research Centre found that 23% of respondents had reported being under the age of 18 when they placed their first bet on sports. Further, they noted that AFL and NRL team sponsors are particularly recognisable to children, which becomes an issue due to the widespread use of sports-betting operators as sponsorship entities in these codes. In admitting his fault and that recent events had “almost scared me off gambling altogether”, Stephenson has done more than most within the AFL to mitigate the harm of its relationship with sports gambling. In highlighting his own issues and the immediate impact that it has now had on his professional life, it has come to serve as a warning to impressionable footy fans.Gambling in Australia has become more normalised than ever. This is in part due to the advertising onslaught we have endured over the last few years with same-game multis, early payouts, and odds-boosting inducements being dangled in front of us when we sit down to watch a game of footy.Of course the fault of this lies primarily with the sports betting agencies who knowingly exploit our vulnerabilities in this space to get us to gamble more. As unscrupulous as it may be, this is their job. However, a supreme degree of moral fault lies in the normalisation of this with the sporting codes who are all too complicit. The AFL already has an unhealthy reliance on the revenue it receives through corporate partnerships with gambling agencies. The constant bombardment of sports gambling advertising during games, at games, and even on lighthearted shows such as The Front Bar through segments like Mick’s Multi show that gambling has become intrinsically ingrained into the cultural fabric of the sport.Unfortunately, the AFL administration has failed not only players such as Stephenson in normalising a destructive habit, but also wider society. The financial difficulties, relationship issues, emotional and psychological distress, as well as a gamut of other issues associated with gambling is propagated with the knowing and enthusiastic assistance of our sporting codes. We all want to feel safe at the footy but the AFL must rethink its crowd security approach Australia sport Kylie Maslen Support The Guardian Read more AFL Share on Facebook … we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many new organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. In recalling his period of gambling addiction as a young man living in Paris, Ernest Hemingway remarked in his memoir A Moveable Feast that his former past-time of choice “wasn’t really racing…It was gambling on horses. But we called it racing.” For too many Australians, our past-time of choice isn’t really “having a punt on the footy”, it is gambling on the AFL, or the cricket, or the rugby, or the outcome of the next federal election, or even the outcome of reality TV shows. But we call it punting. Until we properly address the destructive role entities such as the AFL are playing in normalising these activities, we will be condemning more and more impressionable fans to the harms of sports gambling. Share on LinkedIn comment Share on Twitter With the news of Collingwood forward Jaidyn Stephenson’s 10-game suspension for placing three same game multi-bets totalling $36 in three separate matches in which he played, there is a certain irony to the Rising Star winner being punished so harshly for participating in something that has become so widespread with the help of the AFL.It is difficult to have sympathy for the AFL in this regard, but for Stephenson, as a young man who fits the targeted audience, a degree of empathy ought to be granted. Share on WhatsApp Share on Pinterest Gambling Share on Messenger Collingwood’s Jaidyn Stephenson handed 22-game ban for betting on Pies gameslast_img

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