South Metro Junior Football League today renewed its commitment to the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s Love the Game program, which aims to disrupt the normalisation of sports betting in our community.
South Metro Junior Football League has been a Love the Game partner since (2019), which means saying no to sports betting sponsorships and raising awareness about the risks associated with gambling, especially among young people, who are exposed to gambling ads at saturation levels.
The South Metro Junior Football League is the largest junior football league in Australia, with 11,500 participants and 25 member clubs spread across six local government areas of metropolitan Melbourne.
‘We play AFL for the joy it brings us. At South Metro Junior Football League, we build friendships and nurture personal growth, leadership skills and other positive attributes – none of which has anything to do with loving the odds,’ said Matthew Brown, (South Metro Junior Football League, CEO).
‘The Love the Game program supports us by providing information about how gambling works and the potential for negative consequences. It also helps our young players to develop their critical thinking skills before they are legally allowed to place a bet, so they understand the risks.
‘By doing our bit, we help young people in our community understand that sports and betting do not have to go together.’
Foundation CEO Shane Lucas said that the Love the Game program united sporting clubs at all levels, with 600+ partners signed up across numerous codes throughout the state.
‘Our research shows that young men aged 18–24 make up one-third of sports bettors in Victoria, and participation in young women is rising,’ he said.
‘South Metro Junior Football League play an important role in showing young people that they don’t have to place a bet to have skin in the game or to make it more enjoyable.
‘Sport is about loving the game, not the odds.’
Anyone negatively affected by their own or someone else’s gambling can access confidential free advice, support and referral 24/7 on 1800 858 858.