• Here For The Game Launch

    A media statement from the Minister for Human Services, the Hon Michelle Lensink MLC

    A new “United” campaign tackling sports gambling

    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 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 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.

    Media Contact: Katrina Stokes 0481 903 371

  • Investment Plan 2021 to 2026

    We are proud to announce our Investment Plan 2021 to 2026.

    The Investment Plan 2021 to 2026 guides government spending of the Gamblers Rehabilitation Fund and informs the use of regulatory and policy levers in the prevention and minimisation of gambling harm in South Australia.

    The Investment Plan 2021 to 2026 was developed in consultation with people who have experienced gambling harm, professionals, the regulator and industry. It describes clear goals for future investment, prioritises strategic areas of focus, and identifies evidence-based, practice informed opportunities to minimise gambling harm.

    To read, visit Investment Plan 2021 to 2026

  • SA attitudes towards sports betting

    Report prepared by the Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory CQ University for the Office for Problem Gambling, Department of Human Services. Adelaide, South Australia

    Researchers from CQ University surveyed 2,030 South Australian adults about their attitudes, beliefs and behaviours towards sports betting. The researchers were particularly concerned with the extent to which sports betting is perceived to be ‘normal’ in South Australia, and how the normalisation of sports betting affects young people. This is because adults who develop gambling problems are often exposed to risky gambling attitudes and behaviours as children and are likely to have participated in risky gambling as adolescents.

    ‘Normalisation’ occurs when environmental factors (e.g., advertising showing betting as a socially desirable activity or linked to culturally important events, sports betting is highly accessible) influences community beliefs and attitudes which in turn affect behaviours.

    Environmental factors – media as a tool for normalisation

    Most South Australians perceive sports betting to be highly accessible and believe that sports betting advertising encourages people who enjoy sport to start gambling.

    The survey also revealed overwhelmingly negative sentiment toward the advertising and promotion of sports betting across the community. South Australians are concerned by how much sports betting advertising children are exposed to (78%), believe advertising makes children think betting on sport is normal (84%), and encourages children to want to gamble (76%).

    Beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours

    Most survey respondents agreed that occasional sports betting is harmless (73%), although casual sports betting can lead to problems if you are not careful (86%). The majority of respondents believe that there is too much sports betting today (78%) and estimated that 46% of adults bet on sports regularly. This is a gross over-estimate however as the South Australian Gambling Prevalence Survey suggests around 7% of South Australians have bet on sports in the last 12 months.

    Sports bettors who responded to the survey often held risky beliefs about their skills and abilities when betting. More than half of South Australian sports betters consider betting on sport to be safer than other forms of gambling as it relies less on luck (58%), that betting enhances the enjoyment of watching sport (57%), and that winning a bet is the product of their skill and knowledge of sports (56%). Perhaps most concerningly, young people, couples with children and those with higher levels of education were more likely to hold these types of risky beliefs.

    While most South Australians believe it is not healthy for children to see their parents betting on sport (78%), caregivers who were sports bettors appeared largely ambivalent about the importance of avoiding conversations about their betting activity or participating in sports betting when children were present.

    Social influences from family and friends are key drivers of gambling behaviours and gambling problems among both adolescents and adults and can contribute to the normalisation of gambling. These influences begin for children and adolescents via parental modelling, parental supervision and parental values, attitudes and beliefs. Exposure to problem gambling as a child and adolescent also increases an individual’s risk of becoming an adult problem gambler. It is important, therefore, that caregivers consider the impact of exposing children to sports betting.

    Normalisation of sports betting in South Australia

    In addition to capturing community attitudes and beliefs, the researchers measured the extent to which sports betting is perceived to be normalised in South Australia. Normalisation was defined as the extent to which people believe those around them endorse and participate in sports betting and perceive betting to be a necessary part of sport.

    On a scale of 0 to 100 (where 100 suggests sports betting is wholly normalised across the population), South Australians scored 45. The researchers found that age was an important factor in understanding people’s perceptions, with younger participants, and particularly those with higher incomes, being much more likely to perceive sports betting as normalised in the community.

    While this score is not discouraging, it suggests there is a need to disrupt the normalisation of sports betting. This is particularly true if we want to avoid those outcomes associated with the normalisation of other risky behaviours such as smoking. Public health approaches point to the importance of raising awareness and community education about the risks associated with sports betting, participating in protective behaviours (e.g., setting limits, not betting when upset, stopping if not having fun, preventing children’s exposure), and initiatives that challenge the erroneous beliefs and attitudes that underpin risky sports betting behaviours.

    Taking action to disrupt the normalisation of sports betting

    Most South Australians support tighter regulation of sports betting advertising. For example, 71% want to see less gambling advertising at sporting events, 77% believe that the government should take measures to reduce the amount of sports betting advertising, and 81% believe that sports betting needs to be more tightly regulated or restricted.

    Most adults (92%) believe it is important to speak to children about the risks involved in sports betting, but only one in five adults (20%) have done so and just over one third (37%) feel informed enough to have these conversations. The majority of survey respondents (80%) reported they had never seen any messaging about keeping children safe around sports betting.

    Conclusion

    The survey shows that that South Australians recognise the potential risks around sports betting, have strong negative attitudes towards gambling advertising, and generally agree that it is important for young people to understand the risks. However, many South Australians also believe that gambling on sport is a part of the Australian culture that is never going to change, and some did not understand why it is important to keep children and adolescents at arms-length from sports betting. South Australians support government action to regulate sports betting advertising, are willing to speak to those in their social networks about the risks involved in sports betting, and want to learn more about ways to keep children safe.

    The South Australian Government has responded by implementing the Here For The Game initiative to disrupt the normalisation of betting in sport and educate the community about risky betting and how to keep themselves safe. You can learn more at: hereforthegame.com.au

    * Researchers - Browne, M., Bryden, G.M., Russell, A.M.T., Rockloff, M., Hing, N., Dittman, C., & Lastella, M.

  • The new OPG website

    The Office for Problem Gambling is proud to launch our website. For almost 12 months, we have been working hard to create a new website that suits the needs of community who are either affected by gambling or just want to learn more about the issue.

    Along with a new look, the new OPG website includes features that we hope will make visiting the site easier to navigate and will provide a more interactive experience for users.