Sports betting is still on the verge of becoming a reality in the United States and while there are people who have always supported it and others who have acknowledged its inevitability and began preparing, there are some who still find the idea of it to be distasteful. This extends to other countries as well, not just the U.S. One such person is Hawthorn president Jeff Kennett who during this week’s promotion of this year’s beyondblue Cup has made public some of his long-term concerns about the impacts of sports betting advertisement on the society.
Like many other Australian Football League clubs, Hawthorn contentiously relies on revenue from poker machines but Mr. Kennett believes that there is a significant distinction between the poker and sports betting. According to him, poker machines are strictly for adults and children are not allowed to play.
“The worry I have with sports betting is that it is indoctrinating a whole generation of young people that their future, their happiness, is associated with gambling,” Kennett said of sports betting. “When we have sports betting up there being thrust down the throats of young people on a daily basis – whether it be on television, on radio etcetera – you are indoctrinating them into a lifestyle aspiration, which I think is very dangerous.”
Last year, the Australian federal government introduced a legislation that set limits to when sports betting advertisements can be shown. Kennett, on the other hand, believes that this is not enough and the government should implement a blanket ban or at least subject them to the same restrictions that casinos are subject to as far as advertising is concerned.
“If I was in control, I would apply the same rules to promotion and advertising of sports betting that applies to casinos and gaming machines, and that is that you can’t advertise it publicly,” he added.
Kennett also believes that the effects will not be seen for the next 10 to 15 years but it will too late by then and there is a high likelihood that other problems will have spawned from it as well.