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Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett warns of sports betting ‘indoctrination’

Hawthorn President Jeff Kennett warns of sports betting ‘indoctrination’
May 9, 2018

Hawthorn Prresident Jeff Kennett has used the promotion of this week's beyondblue Cup to raise his long-term concerns about how sports betting advertising could impact society.

As reported by AFL.com.au, Kennett deflected questions about the Hawks' reliance on pokies-generated income, instead urging the Federal Government to ban sports betting on media platforms and discussing the pitfalls of alcohol dependence.

However, the former Victorian Premier did say in "an ideal world" Hawthorn would be able to find other sources of revenue to replace what it now received from its two gaming venues.

The venues are at Vegas at Waverley Gardens in Mulgrave, in Melbourne's south-east – only minutes from the club's Waverley Park base – and WestWaters Hotel in Caroline Springs, in Melbourne's west.

Kennett stepped down as beyondblue Chairman in 2017 after 17 years at the helm of the depression and anxiety charity organisation.

He told reporters “alcohol is the thing that changes the mind more than any other product. Alcohol is the issue that leads to most domestic violence – it's not poker machines that does it.

"I think the other thing, and this is a bit difficult for me because I'm associated with an organisation which takes the revenue … the worst thing right now is the publicity of sports betting – and that frightens me.

"If I was in control, I would apply the same rules to promotion and advertising of sports betting that applies to casinos and gaming machines, and that is that you can't advertise it publicly.

"The worry I have with sports betting is that it is indoctrinating a whole generation of young people that their future, their happiness, is associated with gambling."

Kennett, who is in his second stint as Hawks president, made the distinction between adults having "choices" and sports betting being normalised to the point it is "a lifestyle aspiration".

He added “what adults do is their business. Some adults have difficulty with alcohol, with horse racing, with all sorts of things. But they've got choices.

"But when we have sports betting up there – being thrust down the throats of young people on a daily basis, whether it be on television, on radio, etc – you are indoctrinating them into a lifestyle aspiration, which I think is very dangerous.

"We won't find the effect of this maybe for 10 or 15 years, but by then it's too late and it will lead to other problems as well."

13th March 2018 - HAWTHORN PRESIDENT JEFF KENNETT SLAMS AFL’S INTERNATIONAL EXPANSION PLANS 

4th October 2017 - JEFF KENNETT RETURNS TO HAWTHORN FC PRESIDENCY

2nd October 2017 - TRACEY GAUDRY LEAVES HAWTHORN CHIEF EXECUTIVE ROLE AFTER FIVE MONTHS

8th August 2017 - AQUAMOVES MARKS 20 YEARS OF OPERATIONS 

12th May 2017 - AFL SECURES LAST-MINUTE CHINESE BROADCAST DEAL FOR SHANGHAI GAME

5th May 2017 - AFL LOOKS TO ESPORTS TO ENGAGE WITH NEW AUDIENCES

1st March 2016 - AFL REVENUES TOPPED $500 MILLION IN 2015 

1st October 2014 - HAWTHORN PREMIERSHIP BOOSTS MERCHANDISE SALES

22 May 2013 - AFL DEFENDS BETTING RELATIONSHIPS 

8th November 2012 - NEW UNIT TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF AUSTRALIA SPORT  


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