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SBD Global/March 25, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

Gambling Ads Blamed For High Betting Rate Of National Rugby League Supporters

Former Tom Brock scholar James Connor said that the ''normalisation'' of betting in rugby league may be the reason for a "dramatic disparity between the gambling habits of the code's supporters compared to the general population," according to David Sygall of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. Figures provided to Fairfax Media by Roy Morgan Research showed people over 18 who said they supported an National Rugy League club were 72% "more likely than non-league supporters to have gambled in the past three months." They were 55% "more likely to have played a poker machine," 74% more likely to have used a tab to place a bet and 69% more likely to have "used the internet to have placed a bet." Connor, a senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales school of business who has extensively researched rugby league said, ''I'm not surprised in the least. The ads for betting have been completely normalised as part of the commentary. It's what you do now if you're engaged in rugby league. It's the most insidious change we've seen in the last decade.'' The figures showed Australian Football League supporters also gambled more than the general population, "but much less so than NRL supporters" (SMH, 3/24).
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