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Sports fans are set to enjoy more games free of sports betting ads with Cricket NSW and A-League football clubs Western Sydney Wanderers FC and Macarthur FC extending their partnerships under the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative.

CEO of Hospitality and Racing, Anthony Keon, said the extensions are a major boost for Reclaim the Game, which is challenging the idea that betting is a normal part of sport.

“The extended partnerships are a strong show of faith in Reclaim the Game as sporting franchises realise the importance of rejecting sports betting advertising and promoting gambling awareness among their supporters,” Mr Keon said.

“We now have fourteen teams from five codes turning down sports betting sponsorships and making gambling awareness and education an important part of their work.”

Cricket NSW’s two-year extension will see the rejection of sports betting advertising at home games of the men’s and women’s Big Bash teams, the Sydney Sixers and Sydney Thunder and also their state teams NSW Blues and NSW Breakers.

Cricket NSW CEO Lee Germon said the partnership extension would allow Cricket NSW to continue to make important inroads in helping to prevent – and reduce – the harm gambling can cause individuals, families, and society.

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“Since joining forces with the Office of Responsible Gambling, Cricket NSW has made a meaningful contribution towards changing the community’s attitudes towards betting on sport,” said Mr Germon.

“We’re proud to be able to continue to play an active part in educating children that gambling is not a part of sport, and that gambling on sport is a bad bet.

“Cricket NSW will continue to do all we can to counter the constant sports betting advertising and the adverse effect it has on young people – young men, in particular – and their families.”

Western Sydney Wanderers’ partnership has been extended for a further two seasons and includes the women’s team for the first time, while Macarthur FC has signed on for an extra season. These extensions will be in place for the upcoming A-league season which kicks off on Friday 7 October.

Western Sydney Wanderers CEO Scott Hudson said he was proud to be continuing the relationship for the next two seasons.

“It is important for us to have an impact beyond the field and together with Reclaim the Game we have brought awareness of the impact that sports betting can have in professional sport,” said Mr Hudson.

“We are delighted that this partnership has now extended to our A-League Women’s team, and we look forward to continuing to build our relationship with Reclaim the Game over the next two years.”

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Macarthur FC Group CEO, Sam Krslovic said “We are proud to continue our partnership with Reclaim the Game and be part of this positive initiative. Our community wellbeing is our primary focus and we feel it is important to promote a healthy connection between our game and our fans.”

Mr Keon said Reclaim the Game partners play a vital role in educating fans, players and staff about the risks associated with gambling.

“Reclaim the Game is a great way to reach young men who are most at risk of gambling harm with an estimated 41 per cent of regular sports bettors experiencing one or more gambling-related problems,” Mr Keon said.

“Online sports betting is on the rise with one in 20 adults in NSW betting on sports and growing community concern that children and young people are being exposed to too much gambling advertising.

“Research shows that almost 50 per cent of 12–17-year-olds saw gambling advertising on television during sports and racing events on a weekly basis and almost 1 in 3 young people considered betting on sports to be normal.

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“Reclaim the Game is about getting back to what sport is all about – watching, enjoying and cheering on your team without intrusive sports betting ads getting in the way.

“We are so pleased that Cricket NSW, Western Sydney Wanderers and Macarthur FC will continue to reclaim the game and provide a family friendly environment for their fans to enjoy games without being bombarded by betting ads.”

If you or someone you care about needs support or advice, please call GambleAware on 1800 858 858 for free and confidential help and support 24/7.

These Reclaim the Game partnership extensions come in the leadup to GambleAware Week, an annual initiative for the NSW community to raise awareness about the risks of gambling and gambling harm. GambleAware Week will take place from Monday 17 October – Sunday 23 October 2022.

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