FOUR Ballarat sporting clubs who promote and facilitate sports gambling signed a ‘Responsible Gambling Charter’ this week.
North Ballarat Sports Club, Ballarat Minerdome, Ballarat Leagues Club, Sebastopol Bowling Club and Midlands Golf Club on Wednesday joined the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation charter, which aims to educate people under the age of 18 of the consequences of sports gambling.
With the exception of Sebastopol, each of the clubs offer sports gambling through the TAB.
North Ballarat chief executive officer Mark Patterson defended his club’s move and said the charter was about separating sport from gambling.
“Some people would see this as hypocritical, but our choice is to educate our people through regular content to ensure that they understand that there are consequences to gamble on sport,” Patterson said.
“We want to educate our participants, our young people at North Ballarat, to ensure they understand that there are consequences to gambling and they are not all good.
“We don’t have any sponsorship from TAB or bookmakers because we want to promote the responsible service of gambling.”
Clubs Australia spokesperson Shannon Gill said the signed clubs would provide a safe environment for gambling.
“We are not saying that all gambling is bad, but it will be done responsibly with people there actually looking out for gambling issues,” Gill said.
“We give the responsible gambling message within a club so people can take it outside the club.”
Minerdome Sports Club manager Malcolm Harper said providing sports gambling facilities was not a contradiction to signing the charter.
“It’s the right thing to do as part of being part of our community. We don’t see it as a contradiction,” Harper said.
“We want to give young people a full basis of knowledge and expose what gambling can do.”