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PK Subban’s Father Takes on NHL in Fight Against Gambling Ads

A group in Ontario led by Karl Subban, the father of former NHL great PK Subban, is pleading with the NHL to eliminate or at the very least limit the amount of sports betting advertisements on Sportsnet, at least in Ontario.

According to the group, if you watched any postseason games on Canadian broadcaster Sportsnet this season, you were subjected to about 10 minutes of gambling advertisements every game.

“It’s a big problem. Gambling is very addictive,” said Subban, who’s also a school principal. “A lot of the marketing is focusing on grabbing the attention of the most vulnerable, the youngest of our population.”

The Ban Ads For Gambling movement, which aims to have gambling advertisements completely eliminated from the airwaves, was represented by Subban in his interview with CB

“Harms from gambling include financial problems, stress to families, youth and children, mental health issues including addiction and even suicide – among other documented economic and social issues that negatively affect Canadians,” the website says.

More from Subban and CBC:

“They catch the attention of young people,” Subban said. “It’s a powerful way of marketing to them, which we know can have a harmful effect on young people realizing their potential and really reaching their dreams.”

Sports gambling is something that Lesley Oliva, an elementary school teacher and mom in Vaughan, Ontario, believes her pupils are much more aware of now than they were in the past. She does, however, concur that the advertising are damaging.

“Kids should not be exposed to this at a young age,” Oliva said. “It’s just the wrong messaging to be imprinting on them. It’s not healthy for their long-term growth.”

The Ontario Alcohol and Gaming Commission currently places little limitations on the distribution of gaming advertisements throughout the province. According to the group, those limitations have absolutely no good impact. And I must admit that I tend to concur. Every time I turn on a hockey game, all I seem to see are advertisements for gambling. It’s enough already.

And for young people in particular, it’s not just the sheer volume of advertisements that is dangerous. It’s the fact that the gambling business uses famous spokespeople to promote their junk food, like Connor McDavid, Wayne Gretzky, Auston Matthews, and Chris Pronger. Just picture McDavid or Gretzky appearing in an advertisement for Molson Canadian beer or Marlboro cigarettes. Shameful…

“We’re on this journey together to help our young people to realize their potential and so we need to have conversations about some of the things that are getting in the way,” Subban told CBC.

“Either act today or pay dearly tomorrow.”

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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