First of all, I want everyone to imagine a young kid, maybe 10 or 11. He is sitting at home watching his favourite footy team play on the TV. Before the game he sees the commentators throw over to TAB Sportsbet's "Gary Davies" who tells him that Chris Judd is the favourite at $2.50 for the Brownlow and Collingwood is the favourite for the Premiership at $3.80. Although he doesn't quite understand what these amounts of money mean he is still intrigued into what "Gary Davies" is saying. During that one match he sees countless ads for Centre Bet, Sports Bet, Sporting Bet and heaps of other betting agencies. He also sees several signs and posters with those companies logos on them in the ground, and even his own team has a logo on their jumper. After watching this game he is slowly but surely getting used to the idea of betting on sport. And this was just after one game, to one kid. Just think of the affect that this will have on our future society if 100's of thousands of kids are watching these same ads through their entire child hood. So you have to ask why are we continuing to show these ads?
A recent study by the School of Psychology and McGill University showed that 10 - 15% of young people today are at risk of developing gambling problems in their adulthood. Psychiatrist Dr Maria Tomasic of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists states that problem gambling is often linked with psychological problems such as anxiety and depression, which can lead to crime, bankruptcy and even suicide. That's not even beginning to mention the problems with gambling itself like addiction and financial issues.
So you have to ask why we are letting the next generation of kids be subjected to this when the consequences are clear? You only need to look at people like Brendan Fevola or Heath Shaw to see how gambling has affected not only their sporting careers but their lives in general. You know with Brendan Fevola, he revealed on his interview on The Footy Show that he was going to the races all the time and gambling on the horses, loosing huge amounts of money which not only ruined his career but also his relationship with his wife and his young daughter. And I'm sure most of you are aware what happened to Heath Shaw, he was suspended for 8 weeks for having one bet on an AFL game. So do we want every young sporting star to end up like those two who can't even walk into a TAB without having a punt.
The AFL recently signed a 1.25 billion dollar broadcast rights deal, which will see more money in the game than ever before. In order to keep this money coming in the game...