Punters, who abuse athletics via social media, are set to be banned by Australian bookmakers. This is in response to a growing problem.
Concern Over Abuse
Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) is concerned that many of Australia’s athletes are suffering abuse on social media. Usually, the abuse follows an incident at an event or during a game.
One miss-hit shot or a poor pass can cost a punter a pay-out. For this reason, some losing gamblers hit “comment” and “send” on their phone; within seconds a hateful message is sent to the athlete responsible.
There is no excuse for this. No matter how high passions run. As the saying goes: “gamble responsibly”!
Another concern is that athletes could be threatened prior to an event. Therefore, leading to the player performing poorly either intentionally or unintentionally through fear.
RWA Calls For Bans
The RWA would like to see bookmakers identify the punters responsible. If this proves successful, then the RWA has called for the abusive gamblers to face a ban from gaming sites.
Brent Jackson, is the Chief Executive Officer of the RWA.
Jackson – in a released media statement by the RWA – said:
“It is unacceptable that players have been the target of verbal abuse on social media by punters. Australia’s online wagering providers take a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of harassment, bullying and abusive behaviour.
“Where we can identify individuals using our betting platforms that engage in any form of aggression or threatening behaviour towards sporting identities, we will move to ban them from our platforms.
“Player safety and sporting integrity is a priority, and Responsible Wagering Australia is committed to working with Australia’s licensed sports wagering providers to address this issue with urgency.
“If you are responsible for acts of harassment online then we don’t want you on our platforms and you will be removed immediately.”
A World-Wide Problem
It is not just Australia where athletes suffer abuse. Recently, an English Premier League footballer revealed he was “scared to even look up my direct messages” on social media.
The footballer who spoke out was Wilfred Zaha. He is an international player for the Ivory Coast. He also plays his club football for London-based club side Crystal Palace.
Zaha gave an emotional video interview to CNN, where he called on social media companies to do more to stamp out abuse.
Of course, many non-athletes also suffer abuse via social media platforms. This is a growing scourge on society. Maybe all social media users need educating on basic pleasantries.
Until then, Australian bookmakers should be praised for taking such action to curb this appalling behaviour.