Rabbitohs and Bulldogs Extend Partnership with Reclaim the Game

The South Sydney Rabbitohs and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs have confirmed their commitment to reducing sports betting advertising by extending their partnership with the NSW Government’s Reclaim the Game initiative for a further three years. This extension aims to continue the positive impact of the last two years, where both clubs have actively worked to minimize the presence of sports betting advertising during their games and create a more family-friendly environment.

Interestingly, similar efforts are being made in the Arab world, where there are strict regulations against gambling. In countries such as the United Arab Emirates, gambling is actively regulated, and responsible gambling is promoted through educational campaigns. These initiatives aim to create a safer environment for sports fans, like Reclaim the Game in Australia. They demonstrate a global trend towards reducing the influence of betting in sports and promoting a healthier, more responsible sports culture.

The Reclaim the Game Initiative

In 2020, the NSW Government launched Reclaim the Game, which aims to challenge the normalization of gambling in sports by encouraging sports organizations to reject betting sponsorships and advertising. This initiative aims to promote a healthier and more responsible sports culture. The program has expanded to include partners from various sports, such as the AFL, A-League, cricket, NBL, and NRL, demonstrating its wide-reaching impact.

One of the most significant aspects of Reclaim the Game is its focus on education and community engagement. The initiative includes not only the rejection of betting ads but also comprehensive educational campaigns to inform fans, players, and staff about the risks associated with gambling. 

Similar Initiatives in Arabic Countries

In the Arab world, similar efforts are being made to tackle the problems associated with sports betting and gambling. Although cultural and legal realities differ considerably, and many Arab countries have strict regulations against gambling, there are still initiatives aimed at promoting responsible gambling and reducing the negative effects of gambling.

For instance, the UAE has been proactive in regulating and monitoring gambling activities, with stringent laws to prevent illegal betting and ensure a safe environment for sports fans. “When you are choosing betting on our website, be sure there are only legal betting companies here. Also they always warn the players about responsible gambling and sports culture.” –  Tariq Al-Badr, the Director of Online Sports Betting at Arabic Casinos, says.

Additionally, educational campaigns such as Reclaim the Game are also carried out to raise awareness of the risks of gambling. These initiatives often involve collaboration between government agencies, sports organizations, and community groups to educate the public and promote healthier attitudes toward sports and gambling.

In countries such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, where gambling is prohibited by law, the focus is on preventing illegal gambling activities and ensuring that sports events remain free from betting influences. These efforts are supported by educational programs designed to inform the public about the legal and social implications of gambling and thus promote a culture of responsibility and awareness.

Community Impact and Awareness

Over the past two years, the partnership between Reclaim the Game and the two NRL clubs has led to remarkable changes in the community’s attitude to gambling. Surveys conducted in 2023 have shown that Rabbitohs and Bulldogs fans are much more aware of where to seek help if they have a problem with gambling. Approximately one in three fans are now aware of the GambleAware website and helpline. This increased awareness is a direct result of the clubs’ efforts to educate their fans and promote responsible gambling.

Statements from Club CEOs

Blake Solly, CEO of the Rabbitohs, expressed his enthusiasm for the continued partnership and emphasized that it aligns with the club’s values and commitment to positive social movements. “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,” said Solly.

Similarly, Aaron Warburton, CEO of the Bulldogs, emphasized the importance of maintaining a sports environment that is free from the influence of betting ads. He pointed out that the appeal of rugby league essentially lies in the competitions, rivalries, and sheer entertainment value. “Rugby League is one of the most entertaining sporting experiences on offer, and we firmly believe that our members and fans should be able to watch and enjoy this great game without constant advertising from sports betting companies,” Warburton stated.

Future Goals and Ongoing Efforts

The extended partnership between the Rabbitohs, Bulldogs, and Reclaim the Game aims to build on the successes of the past two years. Both clubs have pledged to continue promoting the initiative through their communication channels, educating players, staff, and fans about the risks of gambling. This ongoing effort is crucial in maintaining the family-friendly atmosphere at NRL games and encouraging more rugby league fans to be aware of the potential harms of gambling.

The commitment of the Rabbitohs and Bulldogs to this initiative sets a strong example for other sports clubs. It highlights the importance of creating a safe and enjoyable environment for all fans, free from the pervasive influence of betting advertisements. As more clubs join the Reclaim the Game initiative, the impact on the sports community will likely grow, fostering a culture of responsibility and awareness. Similar initiatives in the Arabic world, where strict regulations against gambling are enforced, further demonstrate a global commitment to reducing the negative impact of betting in sports and promoting healthier sports cultures.

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