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Crowd gathers to watch short film on risks of sports betting

12 October 2015 Source: Outside the Square

Crowd gathers to watch short film on risks of sports betting

Over 300 people were in Lorne Street on Friday night, 9 October, to view an animated short film highlighting the risks of sports betting screened from a powerful projector on to the side of the Saint James Theatre.

The projection was created by a group of AUT students in conjunction with the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, to draw attention to the issue after the students observed the Rugby World Cup games which have been inundated with TAB advertisements, encouraging New Zealanders to participate in sports betting.

PR consultant Tim Marshall, a spectator and mentor for the students, said the sound of cheering, which was part of the short animated film, was audible right out to Queen Street and was a magnet for people out on a Friday night.

“What better way to subtly send a message about the risks of sports betting than 'taking it to the streets' with a clever animated movie,” said Marshall.

Australian research conducted by the University of Sydney’s Gambling Treatment Clinic has identified that online betting in Australia had increased dramatically amongst young males.

AUT University public relations student, Alexia Morris, said they were shocked at the amount of money that was spent at the TAB on the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“The $32 million that was spent at the TAB on the 2011 Rugby World Cup contributed to our concern around sports betting and the projection was a way for us to raise awareness around this issue,” she said.

Andree Froude, Marketing and Communications Director at the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, said problems with sports betting are increasing in Australia and it could happen here.

“We certainly don’t want to see an increase in the number of people developing problems with sports betting in New Zealand. The projection was an innovative way to reach young people who are perceived to be at greatest risk of the potential harms of sports betting,” she said.

The animated film drew attention to the consequences of sports betting, especially for young males. The film, designed by AUT University design student, Javeria Iijima, told the story of John, an animated character, who watches a live rugby game with his friends. John was faced with decisions around sports betting and the potential consequences of his actions.

The students’ message was simple; ‘make it about the game, not the gambling’.

The short animation can be viewed on YouTube by following this link:


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