AAP
April 3, 2016 7:45 PM

WHATEVER the solution to the AFL’s vexed issue of betting, League chief executive Gillon McLachlan is adamant it is not prohibition.

McLachlan admits there is some unease within the AFL about whether the League and its clubs should benefit from betting revenue, given the well-known social problems of gambling addiction.

But he added that there was a balance on issues such as gambling advertising at matches.

McLachlan said the AFL had worked with TV broadcasters so there were no live odds shown while the game was being played.

“People’s views are different – a number of people have very strong views about wagering,” he told ABC radio on Sunday.

“I have a view that is not universal around the AFL … that things that are legal and part of our game, our job is then to contextualise that.

“I’m also real about wagering – we are better off having relationships with wagering companies than not because we get access to information.

“We can protect the integrity of our competition.”

McLachlan added the revenue from gambling sponsorship helped the game’s growth but said it was an issue debated “reasonably regularly” at League headquarters.

He also said there is evidence that betting habits are changing, rather than more people are gambling on sport.

“The data basically is that betting is not growing, it’s just skewing from racing across to sport,” he said.

“The runaway train that people are talking about is not reflected in the numbers, (they’re) referring to a change.

“Maybe that means there’s a different profile of the people who are betting.

“I’m not in denial of the problem … the solutions are not as easy as people would think.”

April 3, 2016

Farrah Tomazin

Sports betting agencies are adopting similar marketing techniques used by the powerful tobacco lobby to convince people that online gambling is an intrinsic part of Australian culture, new research suggests.

As the Turnbull government prepares to unveil reforms to crack down on foreign bookmakers, a study has found that betting giants are increasingly using gender stereotypes, fan rituals and images of mateship to “normalise” online wagering through highly targeted advertisements.

“The same playbook that we saw in tobacco and alcohol is happening again,” said Samantha Thomas, a public health academic at Deakin University, which led the study.

“It’s being depicted in advertising as though it’s part of Aussie culture – this idea that if you’re a true Aussie bloke, you go to the pub, you hang with your mates, you watch your sport and now you also gamble on sport as well. We should all be smarter about the way these companies seek to normalise their product.”

The study analysed 85 advertisements from 11 local and international gambling companies, including Ladbrokes, Sportsbet, William Hill, Bet365 and Crownbet.

It found that over three quarters of ads used imagery relating to sports fan rituals (such as images of fans cheering for their teams at stadiums or while watching TV); about half contained symbols of mateship (such as gambling being something you do with your friends at the pub); and about a quarter objectified women (who often appeared in the ads playing a subservient service role to men).

One Sportsbet ad for instance, described the bikini as “one of man’s greatest inventions” while a man poked the breast of a woman in her bathers as she sat by a pool. In another ad by Betfair, a James Bond-type character in a suit played table tennis with a woman wearing a bikini while the voiceover states: “When you have power, you can do what you want. With whoever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want, as many different ways as you want.”

The research found 10 main types of “appeal strategies” were used by betting agencies to market sports wagering, including sexual imagery; thrill and risk; sports fan behaviours; mateship; winning; social status; adventure; patriotism; happiness; and power and control.

But experts say the ads should serve as a cautionary tale, particularly in the lead up to the Olympics, which Associate Professor Thomas warned could end up being “one of the biggest betting events the world has ever seen”.

The research is likely to add to concerns about cashed up bookmakers pumping millions of dollars into advertising and corporate sponsorship in the hope of securing a bigger foothold in the lucrative sports betting market.

However, Sportsbet chief financial officer Ben Sleep said he “categorically rejects any comparison of our business to those of tobacco companies.”

“It has been proven that every single cigarette does you harm whereas it is only a very small percentage of consumers who are at risk of developing an issue with wagering. Sportsbet is continually developing world’s best practice harm minimisation measures and strategies to help consumers enjoy our product safely,” Mr Sleep said.

Betting companies are trying to normalise online gambling as an everyday part of Australian culture.

Standard Media Index figures show that in the first two months of this year, the gambling industry had spent $27.3 million on advertising. And as The Age reported on Saturday, football fans have been bombarded with ads since the AFL season opened last week, with more than one in six ads promoting gambling during round one.

A spokesperson for the Australian Wagering Council, which represents the sportsbetting industry, said the ads informed consumers of the identity of licensed Australian-based providers so they could participate in “highly controlled and consumer protected” betting, while avoiding the dangers of illegal offshore operators.

“AWC members recognise community concern in relation to wagering advertising and agree that advertising should always conform to accepted social standards, and not promote harmful behaviour,” the spokesperson said.
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/sports-betting-giants-turn-to-sexual-imagery-and-mateship-to-normalise-gambling-20160401-gnwnen.html#ixzz44p541CdP

With the idea being manufactured that gambling and AFL go hand in hand, the AFL is willingly normalising sports betting as an integral part of being an AFL fan.  Generations of young Australians will grow up believing that betting on the footy is a normal part of being an AFL fan, and the AFL is allowing this due to the revenue they generate from their affiliation and sponsorship with the sports betting companies.  Personally I think it is totally irresponsible to put the dollar ahead of the welfare of a generation of punters who could potentially have any number of gambling problems and addictions in the future.

Beaner

Gambling ads dominate AFL’s round one broadcasts

Richard Willingham.  April 1, 2016

Despite a community backlash, gambling advertising continues during TV broadcasts.

Football fans watching round one on TV were bombarded with gambling advertising, with more than one in six ads promoting gaming.

Despite a ban on ads for gambling during game time, data shows it was the second biggest advertising category over the four AFL games shown on free-to-air TV in Melbourne last weekend. Automotive was the biggest advertiser.

Of the nearly 200 ads screened in the Richmond v Carlton, Sydney v Collingwood, Port Adelaide v St Kilda, and Geelong v Hawthorn matches, 34 were for gambling.

CrownBet, the “official wagering partner of the AFL”, accounted for half of the advertising, with other bookies including Sportsbet and Bet365.

There has long been community concern about the proliferation of gambling ads. This is particularly so in sport, where experts have raised concerns that the association between sports and betting is “grooming” children by normalising betting.

Under an industry code of conduct, gambling promotion is banned “siren to siren” but is allowed to be screened before and after matches and during quarter and half-time breaks.

The Victorian government and many interest groups have urged the review of online gambling laws to look at stronger rules governing gambling advertising. Its report has yet to be released.

Samantha Thomas, a public health academic at Deakin University, said gambling was “a very adult product” which was being prolifically marketed in matches promoted by the AFL as being “family friendly”.

“There is a very clear ethical tension here that the AFL and broadcasters have not adequately addressed,” Dr Thomas said. “Kids tell us that it is the marketing that they see during sport that makes them think that gambling is a normal part of sport.”

“The AFL and broadcasters need to respond to community concerns and start to show some leadership in this area; putting the welfare of the community over the money they are making from gambling sponsorship deals.”

Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation chief executive Serge Sardo said there was widespread concern about the relationship between sport and betting.

“We are concerned that gambling advertising is changing the way our youth view spot; we are worried about the long-term impact,” Mr Sardo said.

The foundation wants gambling advertising banned from all G-classified TV programs.

The Alliance for Gambling Reform chairman Geoff Lake has demanded the TV networks stop advertising gambling to children.

“It’s that simple,” he said. “This normalises an adult product in the minds of young and impressionable footy fans. If the networks aren’t careful, they could end up killing the golden goose, with parents just turning the TV off.”

The Australian Wagering Council said gambling advertising had to comply with a code of conduct.

“Australian Wagering Council members do recognise community concern in relation to wagering advertising and agree that advertising should always conform to accepted social standards,” a spokeswoman said.

“AWC members will continue to work with sport’s controlling bodies and government to address any concerns.”

Melbourne Football Club has become the ninth Victorian footy club to sign Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation’s responsible gambling charter, which includes a ban on a partnership with any sports betting agency or gambling promotion.

The charter has been criticised because most AFL clubs have poker machine venues, but the foundation says the charter requires extra levels of responsibility in pokies.

The AFL said it had no role in the operation of the broadcasting code, but it was the league’s understanding that broadcasts always adhered to the limits on advertising.

Channel Seven said it complies with the Commercial Television Industry Code of Practice which contains extensive restrictions in relation to gambling advertising, particularly in programming directed towards children.

“Provisions introduced in 2013 also prevent the advertising of odds during live sports broadcasts,” a spokesman said.

“Commercial television free-to-air broadcasters are the only media platform with such comprehensive rules around the placement and broadcast of gambling advertising.”

Bookmakers were also contacted for comment.

AFL 2016: Gambling revenue the AFL’s dirtiest cash cow

Caroline Wilson
April 2, 2016
Gillon McLachlan took more than a week to respond to the Collingwood illicit drugs controversy. By then the so-called “noise” had almost gone quiet and the minds of a multitude of supporters made up but still when the AFL chief finally did speak he made a lot of sense.
McLachlan slammed the calls for zero tolerance as “insane” and then offered on his regular Friday 3AW gig some nice diversionary calls such as a wish to try football in New Zealand again one day despite its first foray flopping. And potentially awarding Jared Tallent his belated London gold medal at the MCG on grand final day.

It was only when broadcaster Neil Mitchell turned the subject to gaming that the AFL boss came down with a case of the mumbles. This is because McLachlan has nowhere to go on this issue and he knows it.

He’s not alone. Despite devoting increasing resources to fighting corruption and shielding the game from the growing international threat of match fixing; gambling revenue remains the AFL’s dirtiest cash cow.

That the competition continues to thrust betting on a daily basis into the hearts and minds of all its supporters of all ages remains a source of some discomfort to the AFL Commission and so it should.

Having chosen years ago to take up – with varying degrees of success – social leadership in the form of indigenous Australians, women, drugs and more recently homophobia and domestic violence; the AFL remains as hooked on gambling revenue as the clubs McLachlan was questioned about on Friday.

The deal it struck with CrownBet last year remains a Goliath in Australian sporting sponsorship with the betting partner smashing its category to the tune of almost double its nearest opponent. What resulted was a five-year deal worth close to $50 million.

The AFL’s corporate partnerships reaped $55 million from late 2014 through 2015 – roughly one-third of its $182 million commercial operations revenue which increased by 11 per cent from the previous year.

At an estimated $10 million annually the CrownBet deal is a beast and an exclusive arrangement which has led so many clubs towards lucrative deals with problem gambling groups simply because the AFL deal has priced some former club betting deals out of the market.

And the AFL delivers in spades. On the face of it, CrownBet owns AFL.com, the nation’s biggest sporting website. In an era when digital assets have never been more powerful, the AFL’s website would indicate that Australian rules football and betting are inexorably linked and that the game is all about the hip pocket, taking a financial punt with the push of a button.

It is hard to argue with the AFL taking a percentage of every football bet given that all sports do so. But surely the hypocrisy of taking so much money out of an industry which has created such a vast social problem and one which has gone hand-in-hand with international sporting corruption must play on the conscience of the commissioners.

Particularly when they now directly play such a role in introducing children to gambling. As if the saturation advertising on TV and radio during AFL broadcast isn’t bad enough. And yet no senior figure appears prepared to show leadership.

Even Colin Carter, the Geelong chairman who this week accused the industry of being complicit in the damage done by poker machines, smacked of double standards when he said his club would love to sell its pokies but couldn’t currently afford to.

Particularly children who attend when every game at Simonds Stadium are inundated by bet365 LED signage. The Cats are no longer sponsored by the betting agency but sold their signage rights to a broker who covers the cost of setting up the LED and in turn gains 20 per cent of the signage as a pay-off.

So like McLachlan’s comments on radio on Friday there is an arm’s length mentality that pervades the Geelong’s betting advertising at the same time the respected club chief speaks wishfully of turning his back on it.

Having met late last year with anti-gaming crusaders Tim Costello and Nick Xenophon over the clubs’ unhealthy reliance on pokies, McLachlan has made no definitive statement on the problem — in 2015 nine Victorian clubs took close to $90 million from gaming machines and their victims.

Only North Melbourne have given away the pokies with Hawthorn’s multimillion-dollar profits so heavily reliant on their gaming booty and with the pokies representing some 20 per cent of the clubs’ total revenue.

And yet the AFL has failed to support Costello’s call for con-free machines, several days ago responding with a wishy-washy statement on the issue instead.

Is online sports betting the new frontier for problem gamblers?

March 26, 2016

It’s a turf war that transcends every major sporting event in the country, and anyone who watched Thursday’s AFL season opener between Richmond and Carlton would have caught a glimpse of how ubiquitous it has become.

We saw it shortly after the first bounce, when Hollywood veteran Samuel L. Jackson appeared on our TV screens, urging us to join him as a member of online gambling agency Bet365.

We saw it on Twitter throughout the game, with global giant William Hill encouraging us to have a wager through its controversial “in-play” service.

 

And chances are we’ll see it every week this season and beyond: cashed up bookmakers pumping millions into advertising and corporate sponsorship in the hope of securing a bigger foothold in the lucrative sports betting market.

But what impact is this having and how should authorities deal with it?

It’s a question Victorian Gaming Minister Jane Garrett has been asked several times before, and one that she’s been forced ponder as the mother of young children.

A few years ago, the Labor MP was holidaying in Queensland with her family when her daughter – then only aged around eight –called a friend in Melbourne and cited the odds of Buddy Franklin kicking the first goal. Garrett was shocked.

“I am concerned about the explosion of gambling advertising in our community, and I know from personal experience that children are talking odds instead of their sports idols,” she says.

“We do have to take a step back and admit there have been big changes in how these things are being marketed. There’s a pervasiveness about it and at every level of government we need to acknowledge it and deal with it.”

Within weeks, the Turnbull government is expected to unveil reforms designed to crack down on illegal offshore wagering. Among the changes, online betting on live sport – otherwise known as “in-play” – is expected to be banned at least until the federal election, and unlicensed offshore bookmakers will not be permitted to take bets from Australians.

But the issue of advertising is unlikely to be tackled in any significant way because it was taken out of the terms of reference following a backlash from media broadcasters.

“These bookies have very deep pockets and they’ve got a huge budget for advertising which is why the TVs and the sporting bodies love them so much,” says Monash University expert Charles Livingstone.

In Victoria, the Andrews government was deeply unimpressed when this year’s Australian Open became the first grand slam event to have a betting agency, William Hill, as its major sponsor (just as tennis was plagued by match-fixing claims). However, it won’t say what, if anything, it could do to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen next year.

In a bid to tackle betting ads more broadly, the state is considering restrictions on where billboards can appear, and has also flagged with Canberra the development of national regulations. But as Garrett admits: “there’s no easy fix”.

What is clear is that smart phone technology has helped reshape the industry dramatically in recent years, and companies are prepared to spend up big to target a new generation of gamblers. Standard Media Index figures show that in the first two months of this year, the gambling industry had spent $27.3 million on advertising – over 40 per cent more than the corresponding period. Turnover on sports betting has also increased: from $1.66 billion in 2004-05 to $5.89 billion in 2014-15.

But the impact on people is what worries Financial Counselling Australia policy manager Lauren Levin, who has seen more than a few lose their life savings, lured by incentives such as cash bonuses and credit. Her organisation suggests banning advertising links between payday lending sites; requiring customers to nominate a maximum bet when they set up an online account; and a national register for people who want to self-exclude.

In-play betting, however, remains the most contested issue within the industry and it seems the federal government is yet to decide whether it is for or against liberalising the practice. Traditional operators, pubs and clubs will be encouraged by Canberra’s decision to impose a short term ban until the election, but will want to see a permanent reform. Others, however, take a different view.

“In-play play wagering on sport is a product that already exists in Australia, within a well established regulatory framework, in many thousands of retail wagering and gaming venues,” says Sportsbet regulatory affairs director Ben Sleep. “It makes no sense that it is not allowed in an online environment.”

BETTING AND SPORT

Tennis: William Hill became the first betting partner of a grand slam when it sponsored the Australian Open this year.

AFL: CrownBet is a partner of the AFL. UBet sponsors Gold Coast Suns and Port Adelaide. Crown (which owns CrownBet) is a partner of West Coast

Cricket: Bet365 is a partner of Cricket Australia

NBL: Ladbrokes is the “Official Australian Sports Betting and Wagering Partner”

Soccer: TAB is the “Official Betting Partner of the FFA”. Crown Perth (which is part of the same company as CrownBet) is a partner of Perth Glory.

Rugby: William Hill sponsors Brisbane Broncos. TAB is a partner of Canberra Raiders. Crown Resorts is partners Melbourne Storm.

Racing: Ladbrokes is an official partner of the Melbourne Racing Club. William Hill is a major sponsor of the Cox Plate.
http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/bookies-battle-for-a-bigger-share-of-sports-betting-market-but-at-what-cost-20160326-gnrhbj.html#ixzz445fo1ZKl

Well as luck would have it, all 3 games in the multi I highlighted yesterday actually ended in draws.

Liverpool v Arsenal (3-3)

Chelsea v West Brom (2-2)

Man City v Everton (0-0)

So for the $10 bet, the return would have been $643!  If you had made this bet and were to continue to follow this strategy, you now have 64 attempts to land another 27-1 shot to stay in front of the ledger, which is a great position to be in.

Not one to say I told you so, but one to say I will always tell you so; the math don’t lie and the probabilities don’t change regardless of what you think the outcome may be.  Favourites, sure things, certainties, they are all just educated guesses, and when everyone guesses the same, the odds are adjusted so the returns are always way under the actual odds you should be getting.  They are sucker bets and nothing else, and the sports bet companies make a fortune selling them as the most likely result.

So on the roulette wheel with 26 black slots and one yellow one (paying 5.64-1), my proposal is to change one of the black slots to red, and if the ball lands in the red slot, the return is 64.3-1.  As you can imagine, I will be putting my money on red each and every spin.

Beaner

EPL Trending Picks 140116

Sportsbet now provides a ‘Trending Picks’ quick multi on their homepage. This example is of 3 EPL soccer games to be played overnight.

3 games of soccer provides 27 possible results, so although the odds of 5.67 may seem appealing for these matches, they are way under the 27-1 you should be getting, all things being equal.

It seems in all likelihood that these results will eventuate, but it only takes a draw or an upset to do your dough.

Chelsea should win as they are finding some form again, City should win but Everton are the draw specialists with an inform striker in Lukaku, and Arsenal is pretty good value at 2.70 and with their form should also win. Liverpool at home though are no easy beats so there is no real guarantee of that result either.

As far as Sportsbet is concerned, they will cop the small payout if all 3 teams do actually win, as the odds are so much in their favour that over time, more often than not these 3-leg multis will fail.

As a punter always searching for a ‘good bet’, I would be looking at a payout of greater than 27-1 for this multi, which can be found in choosing 3 draws (4.50 x 4.33 x 3.30 = 64.30), or 2 draws and a City win (4.5 x 4.33 x 1.5 = 29.23).

You could argue that my 2 outcomes are less likely to occur based on the match ups, but I think any bet you put on is a gamble (there are no certainties unless it is fixed), so you might as well aim for a return that exceeds the amount of risk.

So with the $10 bet, you will win $56.70 with Sportsbet’s multi.  My 2 bets would return $643 or $292.30 if either happened to win.  I’m in no way saying they will win, they are just 2 of the 27 possible results.  There are also many other combinations that will return greater than 27-1 that could be backed if you felt there was going to be an upset with Chelsea or City (Liverpool and Arsenal were both at 2.70 when I checked).

The ‘Trending Picks’ multi they are promoting on the homepage is like them waving a ticket that says bet $10 on me and I’ll give you $56.70 if you win.  Fine print – this game has 1 chance in 27 of winning.

If I ran a casino and was paying out 5.67 on a game with 27 possible outcomes, I would make a lot of money over time.  Imagine a roulette wheel with 27 slots on it.  26 of these are black and one of them is yellow.  You are only allowed to bet on yellow and the return is 5.67-1.  To be fair I’d make it known that the yellow slot is slightly wider than all the others, so theoretically the ball should land in it more often.  Otherwise who would want to play?

Beaner

These figures show there are less people gambling, but more money being wagered, which indicates problem gambling must be on the rise.  Will the government ever intervene?

 

Why Australians are gambling more than ever

Date: December 7, 2015

Perry Williams – Senior Reporter

Len Ainsworth believes Australians will always keep a fixed portion of their disposable income available for gambling. Photo: Eddie Jim

Australia’s great love affair with gambling shows no sign of levelling off.

Buried in last week’s national accounts was the startling statistic that Australian punters bet a record $6.5 billion in the September quarter, equating to $1000 a year for every Australian.

Those numbers represent a 6.1 per cent jump to $24.1 billion on the same period in 2014 compared with average annual growth of just 3 per cent during the past decade.

Len Ainsworth’s pokies business has been growing rapidly for the past five years, but its share price undervalues its future prospects, Motley Fool reckons.

But getting to the bottom of what is driving such strong gambling growth in Australia is baffling the industry.

Participation rates among Australian adults have fallen sharply in the past 15 years. Almost every state recorded rates above 80 per cent at the turn of the century meaning four out of every five adults took part in some form of gambling at least once in the year 2000.

By 2014, that number had fallen to just 64 per cent or about two out of three adults gambling in the 12-month period.

Growth in online gambling is also surging every month.Growth in online gambling is also surging every month. Photo: Bloomberg

What has startled many in the industry is that while there are fewer gamblers, with each year that passes they are betting more heavily.

“We’ve seen a drop in participation in gambling on a per-capita basis, but the expenditure on gambling hasn’t dropped,” Australian Gambling Research Centre manager Anna Thomas said. “What we are seeing is a smaller group of people gambling more heavily.”

By far the biggest gambling spend still comes via bets placed on Australia’s 200,000 poker machines. Online gambling, and sports betting in particular, is the fastest-growing area.

''The number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical.''”The number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical.” Photo: Bloomberg

“There was a period through the 1990s when there was a great increase in gambling. That then tailed off in the 2000s as the community came to realise the risks involved,” Ms Thomas said. “But that doesn’t account for people who are still gambling and gambling at very high levels, particularly on pokie machines. There also hasn’t been a drop in problem-gambling issues. There’s a group of people in the population who are experiencing substantial harm.”

Billionaire Len Ainsworth, the 91-year-old who made his fortune from making poker machines, attributes the lift in the amount Australians are betting to “natural” levels of growth.

“There’s a very simple answer: over the last 62 years that I’ve been in the business each year, every year the amount of money that goes into gambling is directly related to the state of the economy,” Mr Ainsworth told Fairfax Media. “If the economy goes up 5 per cent, you can bet the amount gambled will go up by that or even more.”

He argues Australians will always keep a fixed portion of their disposable income available for gambling.

“As they get more money or shall we say funds that they can spend, they will spend the same proportion of gambling as they do on everything else,” Mr Ainsworth said. “There’s nothing surprising about those numbers going up 6 per cent because I reckon we’ve had at least that much inflation over the period.”

The Ainsworth Game Technology chairman said the growth in online gambling is also surging every month.

“We’re involved in social gaming and the number of people who spend money on games is only 10 per cent. But the number of people we have as customers around the world is astronomical. We’ve got a huge number of people learning to gamble who’ve never gambled in their life for the most part and eventually, those people will try other forms of gambling too.”
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/business/why-australians-are-gambling-more-than-ever-20151207-glh52t.html#ixzz3tcpKIBL6
 

Yet another story of sports betting companies preying on someone with a gambling addiction.  The other story I read recently was about a sports betting agency lending someone with an intellectual disability $80 000 (which he didn’t ask for), which he subsequently lost, and they then wanted him to sell his family house to pay for the debt.  That story can be found here:

http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/archive/money/lost-in-a-loophole-over-betting/story-fngu4es9-1227588868614

The quicker these laws are changed the better so people who do have a gambling problem won’t be taken advantage of.

Beaner

Problem gambler, counsellors call for online betting credit crackdown; Senate to consider tougher laws

By Kaitlyn Sawrey, Claire Aird, Jo Lauder, Stephen Stockwell for Hack (Triple J)

On Melbourne Cup day, Anthony received calls and texts offering him almost $10,000 in gambling credit, trying to induce him to reopen the sports betting accounts that cost him his business, friends and family.

His life slid out of control in 2013.

“I was given about $980,000 in credit to bet with companies, and of course I lost all that, because I was a compulsive gambler,” he told triple j’s Hack.

By September this year, he had bet a “totally ridiculous” sum of around $2.5 million.

Online gambling lenders are not held to the same standard as credit companies because they do not charge any fees or interest, which triggers lending regulations.

A recent report from Financial Counselling Australia chronicled the gambling industry’s practices of handing out credit and inducements.

The report title Duds, Mugs and the A-list was based on a quote from a former employee of a sports betting company.

“‘A-List’ customers are wined and dined and offered credit ranging from $100,000-$500,000,” the report said.

“‘B list’ customers are ‘serious credit punters’ and are offered up to $20,000 in credit. The ‘duds’ or ‘mugs’ are everyone else: this group is offered $200-$500 of unsolicited credit.”

‘Dedicated relationship guy’ keep in contact with gamblers

Anthony said it started out with bookies offering free bets and match deposits, but “what you don’t know is that once you’ve opened an account … very quickly they can tell whether you’re going to turn into a VIP — a very big loser. And you’re a lot of money to them, a good income source”.

He said once he passed a certain threshold — $500 in free bets, matched by his own $500 — then it was “game on”.

“They’ll go to any lengths to include you and give you options in things. Probably more so than your real friends probably would do.” Anthony

“They’ll come at you thick and fast. They will have a dedicated person who will ring you and look after and email you,” Anthony said.

“This person will offer you free sporting event tickets, free sport deposits, free bets for absolutely no reason. They’ll find out what you like to do in your leisure time. They will become your best friend basically.”

Anthony, a golf and rugby lover, was offered free tickets to events.

“You feel really important because you’re one of eight people sitting in a box at a sporting event,” he said.

“They’ll go to any lengths to include you and give you options in things. Probably more so than your real friends probably would do.”

He said at one point he had six or seven of these “relationship guys ringing me and chatting me”.

Anthony also had unsolicited calls from other companies offering up to $20,000 in credit.

“I used to say — where did you get my information from? How do you know who I am? And they would say, ‘a friend of a friend told me’.”

 

Companies penalised for breaching gambling laws

Financial Counselling Australia’s report into the industry claimed a “former employee [told us] sports betting companies swap customer account data, contrary to privacy legislation”.

“When a gambler ‘goes cold’ and stops betting with one company, the company swaps lists with another company, which then entices the person to resume gambling,” the report said.

Offering unsolicited credit is outlawed in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, but it is not consistent across the country.

The NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing told Hack it was investigating a number of operators, but could not go into detail.

However, they said Sportsbetting.com.au — which is licensed in the Northern Territory — pleaded guilty in Sydney’s Downing Centre Court in September to publishing an ad on its website offering 100 per cent bonuses to new clients who deposited funds into betting accounts.

The offer did not exclude NSW residents. The company was fined $1,650.

Penrith-based company ClassicBet Pty Ltd was also convicted of illegal gambling advertising just days before, after it published an ad for a “Premium Rewards Program”, promising punters would be “rewarded for every bet you place, regardless whether you win or lose” and offering bonus bets and “rewards” including shopping vouchers, sports tickets and holidays.

ClassicBet was fined $1,000.

 

Loans by betting companies ‘increases impulse betting’

Lauren Levin, manager of policy and strategic projects at Financial Counselling Australia, said the Northern Territory has the least restrictive legislation.

“Inducements are legal, and surprise, surprise, that’s where most of the companies are licensed,” she said.

“If [loans are] offered online by the provider, it makes it much easier for impulse betting, for chasing your losses.” Senator Nick Xenophon

When Hack contacted the Australian Wagering Council, they declined an interview. They said from the beginning of November, all wagering service providers in the Northern Territory were required to comply with a code of practice.

And also that “any call for the prohibition of deferred settlement facilities would result in customers accessing credit from unscrupulous operators like illegal SP bookmakers and loan sharks and illegal offshore operators, who have little regard for consumer protection or harm minimisation [sic]”.

South Australian senator and anti-gambling advocate Nick Xenophon disagreed that clamping down on the industry would push punters towards dodgy lenders.

“If it’s offered online by the provider, it makes it much easier for impulse betting, for chasing your losses,” he said.

“If you have to go and borrow money, take out a loan — it doesn’t allow the fuelling of the gambling addiction.”

 

‘Legislation has to change’

Next week, Senator Xenophon will introduce a bill to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001, which would allow punters to self-exclude from online wagering services, set limits on monthly and yearly betting budgets and ban gambling advertisements during G-rated TV programs and sports broadcasts.

“It’s not just a question about ethics,” Senator Xenophon said, “it’s about… whether it should be legal. I don’t think it should be”.

“You can’t have credit if you go to a pokies outlet — that’s illegal. But it seems to be legal if it’s online gambling and that’s wrong. If you don’t have the money to gamble in the first place, why should you have access to credit?

“There’s going to be a whole generation of young Australians who won’t be able to afford to go on that overseas trip, or buy their first car or put a deposit on their first home.”

Anthony said he wanted to see legislation enacted that would stop others falling into the financial hole he did.

“When you’re left with nothing — I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about the love of family and friends gone – I mean, you go into a pretty dark place,” he said.

“It’s pretty hard to see your way out, you think you’re the only person in the world — how could I be so stupid?

“But you’ve got a disease of addiction. Legislation has to change to protect those who fall into that addictive pattern.”

Senator Xenophon said if the bill was not successful, people could expect to hear more from him in the lead-up to the next election.

“We’re already the number one country in the world in terms of losses, we’re number one in the world in terms of problem gambling,” he said.

“This needs to be an election issue.”

If you’re struggling with a gambling problem, there is always someone you can talk to on 1800 858 858. If you don’t feel like picking up the phone, you can chat to someone online here.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-04/problem-gambler-counsellors-call-for-online-betting-credit/6913036

“Australians love a punt. And since the first rule of gambling is that the house always wins, this is really another way of saying, Australians love losing money.”

Australians love a punt and the house always wins, whether you believe this or not, I’ll say it again, the house always wins.  Personally, I don’t love losing money and if you’ve read this blog you will find many examples of ways to gamble that reduce the house edge or even sway the odds in your favour.  But the point has always been made as we are not delusional and selling a fantasy, there is no such thing as a sure thing and every bet you make is a gamble, where the bookie always makes money whether you actually win or lose.  Be smart, be honest and have fun is how the Champ Bros approach gambling, and as Australians raised in a gambling culture where we get a public holdiay for a horse race and ANZAC Day is associated with 2-Up we don’t want to trash our heritage, but we also don’t want to be taken for suckers.

Beaner

Australia’s gambling obsession, in one depressing chart

John McDuling
Published: September 3, 2015

Australians love a punt. And since the first rule of gambling is that the house always wins, this is really another way of saying, Australians love losing money.

Basically, some offshore outlets such as William Hill are offering Australian customers the ability to bet on live sports via their smart phones. Strictly speaking, ‘In-play’ betting is outlawed on online platforms, including smartphones.

Data from H2 Gambling Capital, a London based industry researcher, obtained by Fairfax Media last month, shows that Australians lose more money per adult on gambling than every other developed country.

Back in 2010, the Productivity Commission actually estimated the average loss for each Australian that gambled at $1,500.

For what its worth, that review found there was an overall net benefit (through taxes and enjoyment) to the economy from gambling of between $3.7 billion and $11.1 billion), but the costs to problem gamblers were substantial and devastating, ranging from $4.7 billion to $8.4 billion

That aside, what is clear is that Australians are leading the developed world on gambling losses. Whether a review of online sports gambling laws, and potentially, advertising of gambling during sports matches, does anything to curtail this, remains to be seen.

This story was found at: http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/australias-gambling-obsession-in-one-depressing-chart-20150902-gjd2w1.html