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12 October 2011

Australian Casinos And Sports Use Celeb Push Of Gambling


Gambling Celebrities Australian Sports Media Companies Australia

G'day punters, sports nuts, one and all. Australia continues to be one of the world's hot spots for gambling and casino news. Sports stars and celebs are a couple of the biggest weapons gambling companies are using to promote gambling down under.

Australian Casinos, Clubs, Poker, Sports Use Celebs To Promote Gambling...

A boom in online sports betting has seen punters' overall losses double in 5 years.

Sports commentators (mainly in cricket, and to a lesser extent, AFL and NRL) are feeding the gambling beast and some say, putting Aussie kids at risk.

Pick the odds the promoters shout. "Check out our betting promotions", says a sports commentator, and you get the picture.

The leap in online betting firms and smartphone tech has allowed Aussies access to would you believe 2319 or so online gambling websites.

Say G'day to Alex Blaszczynski, a psychologist who is treating a growing number of sports betting addicts. He's called for a crackdown on how gambling is marketed.

"These sports stars are role models that people look up to," Prof Blaszczynski said.

"My concern is over the next few years we're going to see a steady rise in sports-related problem gambling."

Aussie punters are tipped to lose $611 million via online sports betting this year, up from $264 million in 2006, Global Betting and Gaming Consultants figures state.

Total sports betting is much higher as the amounts do not include bets through phone calls, TAB outlets and some sports betting sites also offer casino games.

One commentators called the marketing campaign techniques "blitzkrieg" in nature, which sounds pretty effective, if not evil.

Sporting figures spruiking brands, promos and odds during matches are very big.

"That is normalising gambling. Let's be sensible about it now and have a balance of appropriate advertising," Prof Blaszczynski said.

We understand there were 24 new sports betting clients at Prof Blaszczynski's University of Sydney gambling treatment clinic last year...a 70% jump from 14 new clients the previous year.

Organisations Relationships Australia and Gamblers Anonymous also told press of a new trend towards problem sports betting.

Addiction concerns come as match fixing now beats drugs as sport's biggest challenge, says numerous insiders.

Sports betting was the vice of choice, or brand of poison if you will, for a growing number of passionate gamblers, driven by smartphones which provide constant internet access, according to Southern Cross University researcher Dr Sally Gainsbury, who is conducting a major survey of the nation's gamblers.

"My figures indicate sports gambling is the fastest growing form of gambling in Australia," Dr Gainsbury said.

"Within Australia and internationally these online gambling companies are increasing their expenditure on marketing, anywhere from 30 to 50% in the last year alone.

"For problem gamblers there's that trigger, that impulse to gamble. For children...there is this link between the celebrity or sporting figure endorsing a gambling site.

"Kids look at that as something to aspire to. That certainly is of concern."

Mission Australia's Queensland state director Penny Gillespie said there was a growing sense sport could only be enjoyed with a bet.

"For children, they're are going to grow up thinking sport goes hand-in-hand with gambling."

On an international scale with online casinos, bingo and poker PartyGaming has used retired Formula 1 racing car drivers Jaime Alguersuari Giancarlo Fisichella to promote PartyPoker and cricket identity Phil 'Tufers' Tufner to promote both PartyCasino and their poker brand. Virgin's Richard Branson has also placed himself in the spotlight to promote his poker and bingo brands, thanks to a look-a-like animated character Ricardo Jalapeno. Party are regarded the strongest gambling brand linked to Hollywood, with an emphasis on games with themes such as The Godfather, The Terminator, Saturday Night Fever, Mission: Impossible and more. More and more Aussiewood and Hollywood themes are being used as the battle for the entertainment and gambling dollar continues to heat up.

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