NRL Teams South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs Expand Partnership with NSW Government to Stop Sports Betting Ads

Two National Rugby League (NRL) teams, South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs enhanced the partnership with the New South Wales Government and joined its Reclaim the Game initiative, which will allow the popular clubs to offer their fans more games with a decreased amount of sports betting ads.

Extended partnership between clubs and government:

The partnership between the clubs and the government will last for another three years, and they have been working together for two years now, since 2022. The mission of the initiative is to change the attitudes toward sports betting in the community and increase awareness of problem gambling and responsible gambling practices.

Back in 2023, the government conducted research and the survey has proven that the fans of Bulldogs and Rabbitohs knew where they could find support and help for the issues related to gambling if needed. At the moment, one in three fans is aware of the helpline and dedicated website for help, which represents a significant increase in number.

Thanks to this partnership, the GambleAware services became much more popular among the fans and members. 

But the battle continues: to promote the fight against betting ads, the clubs decided to stop displaying the ads at their home games. Instead, the Reclaim the Game initiative will be promoted, along with the promotion on all their communication channels. 

The next step for the club is to educate its fans, players, and staff about the potential risks. 

The first fruits of these efforts will be seen on March 29 at Accor Stadium Homebush, when the Bulldogs and Rabbitohs will play against each other.

The NSW Government launched Reclaim the Game initiative in 2020, and since then, it has helped a range of sports betting fans to realize they have gambling problems and seek help, so the program was greatly successful. 

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The success of the initiative:

At the moment, the initiative has 11 partners across five codes. Among the partners are AFL, A-League cricket, as well as NRL and NBL. The analytics show that millions of fans are aware of it through over 260 games that were promoting it, both in stadiums and on TV.

As stated in an official press release published on the New South Wales website, Alison Parkinson, a Director of the Office of Responsible Gambling, commented on the impact of NRL games on the fans: “NRL games draw huge crowds and receive extensive media coverage. The NRL is highly intertwined with betting advertising and sponsorships, increasing the risk of gambling harm among fans. The Rabbitohs and Bulldogs have been pioneers against the saturation of betting ads in the NRL, helping to make their game days a family-friendly experience.”

She added: “We are pleased to see the Rabbitohs’ and the Bulldogs’ commitment to addressing this issue, highlighting the potential harms that gambling can cause individuals, families and society.”

Blake Solly, the CEO of Rabbitohs, said: “We are thrilled to extend our partnership with Reclaim the Game. Their commitment to being part of a positive social movement aligns with the values of our club, and we are excited to continue working together to challenge the notion that gambling is a normal part of sport.”

Aaron Warburton, Bulldogs’ CEO, commented: “In 2022 we joined forces with Reclaim the Game to say no to sports betting advertising. It was a first-of-its-kind partnership haha777 for our club and one we are extremely proud of, challenging the notion that betting is a normal part of the game.”