Gambling is linked to DV. Does the AFL care?

Tim Costello ponders the virtue signalling of the AFL as they condemn domestic violence while supporting the gambling industry.

Joan Didion once wrote, “it is possible for people to be the unconscious instruments of values they would strenuously reject on a conscious level”.

I am sure that is true of me and true of others. But I particularly thought about this watching my beloved Bombers have a minute’s silence in solidarity with women victims of domestic violence before their AFL game last weekend.

In fact, all AFL teams did this, and it was moving to see young men – our most macho athletes –standing arm in arm for women. Observing a minute’s silence is an important gesture. But when it is squeezed in between multiple gambling advertisements and promotions you have to wonder. What does the AFL really care about?

We know gambling is a significant factor in gender-based violence and domestic violence across this country. Family violence is three times more likely to occur in families where there is problem gambling.

Another study has shown that more than one third of people with a gambling problem are the perpetrators of physical violence (37%) while another (38%) suffer domestic violence as a result of a gambling problem.

The AFL, which rakes in multiple millions of dollars from gambling sponsorship and advertising, is clearly more interested in maximising revenue by creating more gambling – even if it increases family violence.

All of us can be guilty of virtue signalling. But the AFL take it to another level in not only taking the gambling money but actively lobbying the Federal Government against the bipartisan recommended ban on gambling ads to prevent gambling harm and to prevent more domestic violence.

If the AFL want to be part of the solution then they need to sever their links with gambling companies that are making this violence worse.

This article was first published on Facebook.

Topics & People in this post