New campaign helps parents pose the questions we should be asking teens about gambling

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Parents are being urged to talk to teenage sports fans about the risks of gambling in a new campaign by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation.

The campaign, launched today by the Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz, encourages young people to ‘Love the Game’ and not the odds.

It also provides practical online tools and tips for parents to have a conversation with their teens about gambling risks and myths.

‘Advertising is changing the way our kids see sport,’ says Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive officer Serge Sardo.

‘In 2015 the gambling industry spent $236 million on gambling advertising, making it extremely hard to avoid. During the AFL finals and upcoming summer sporting season we will be bombarded with ads which promote the idea that gambling on sport is normal.’

Mr Sardo says research shows gambling advertising is having an impact on young people – with a recent study showing 75% think that gambling is a normal part of sport.

‘Sports betting is one of the fastest growing types of gambling, in 2014-15 Australians lost $815 million on sports betting, an increase of 30 per cent on the previous year.

‘Many kids, including very young children, are also at risk of being exposed to gambling concepts by online games and apps which distort the prospect of winning.  It’s vital parents have a conversation with their kids to make sure they understand gambling myths and risks.’

Mr Sardo says issues for parents to consider before starting the conversation include:

  • Does your teenager talk about odds while watching or during conversations about sport?
  • How many sports betting brands does your teenager know?
  • What online games and apps are your teenagers playing or using?
  • Does your teenager think gambling on sport isn’t as risky as other forms of gambling?

Mr Sardo says the Foundation supports recent proposals by the Victorian Government to restrict gambling advertising on public transport and near schools. It also supports calls for tougher regulation of gambling advertising in sports broadcasts during children’s viewing times – an area which is regulated by the Commonwealth Government.

For more information on talking to your teens about gambling visit www.lovethegame.vic.gov.au

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