It is simple. The first time I visited Sydney I did because I wanted to see the fireworks in front of the Sydney Opera House. It was really interesting and beautiful. Then I drink a beverage watching the sails and it felt completely dreamy. Some people would not understand the reason behind the protest against Alan Jones’ fiery statements in an interview against Louis Heron, Chief Executive of the Sydney Opera House. He called for sacking her from her job after she was not supportive to promote the Everest horse racing on this building.
Everybody has paid attention to this fight. Especially, when Horse racing is also a big tradition in Australian Culture. In that sense, it is understandable that Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia, found like a complete non-sense this discussion.
However, numbers contradict this situation when you can find the number of people who had lost almost everything provoked by gambling addiction. Perhaps, in that sense showing a message to promote this event without any intention to promote gambling but, the both topics are very attached and well-known as a problem, which multiple Australian families face daily, and that is the real deal.
I remembered I met Adam* and we were in his car at the beginning of the year a few meters, where the protest took place yesterday. And I remembered how he gave me details of how he must ending his relationship after he discovered her girlfriend had stolen money from his bank account to gamble. Perhaps, for politicians the link between both topics can look completely out of common sense but I believed it is in part the real deal behind it.
In 2008 Gambling Solutions created a survey. In this document with 200 young participants from 13 to 24 years old found this:
- 96% of people from 18-24 had gambled for money or possessions.
- 62 % of those under 14 years old and 77 % of those aged up to 17 had gambled for money or items, including mobile phones and MP3 players.
- 25.5% of 14-17 year olds and 55 % of 18-24 year olds had lost more than they had intended,
- and 6% under 18 had played a poker machine
Other aspect is how Australian citizens felt about Private sphere, in this case, Everest brand’s owners taking the public space to promote a ‘famous’ but still private event. And the attitude from Mr. Jones what really made Sydneysider felt outrageously angry. It was a sum of subtle issues like addiction, which is affecting the local community plus a bad-tempered comments from Alan Jones, radio personality, during an interview.
Finally, the common sense won and they had decided to take a different path. Perhaps, they would win more support if they chose to promote a plan to help people who is struggling with gambling issues. Perhaps, that part of this issue should have more attention. It would be an interesting turn in this clash about Culture, business, horse tradition, advertisement, economy and high-profile events in Australia.