UK football could face a total gambling sponsorship and advertisement ban

The footballing scene across the UK must brace itself for a huge impact on finances if the government will decide to ban gambling advertising in the sport.

The government is currently collecting evidence for its review of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act and Nigel Huddleston, the United Kingdom’s sports minister has already said that action will be taken if there is proof that betting advertising and sponsorship is something that causes harm.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) has indited an argument to a variety of TV channels, stating that advertising gambling during the day could harm the general public.

In the letter, the group said:

“We are very concerned that television companies are promoting gambling – we have ourselves seen first-hand the harm and devastation that gambling can cause to young people’s lives, families and communities.

“Gambling companies are sponsoring programmes which seek to glamorise gambling with the aim of targeting women and young people and encouraging them to gamble.”

According to the latest official data from the UK Gambling Commission, around 300,000 adults and a staggering 55,000 children in the United Kingdom are considered to have a gambling problem.

With the pandemic enforcing lockdowns, the group also pointed out that with children being at home more, they are at a greater risk of being exposed to adverts during the day, so the group has called for an end to gambling sponsorship during daytime TV.

Campaign to end gambling adverts in football

The Big Step is a campaign with a strong message: to call for a ban on betting advertisements in football.

The Big Step’s petition to put a stop to gambling advertising and sponsorship in football has locked up 7,000 signatures, and Mr Grimes hopes to hit a target of 10,000 to then hand it over to Downing Street.

In the current football season, there are eight Premier League clubs with gambling sponsors on their shirts; however, the number rises to fifteen if you add on clubs that have official betting partners. This figure increases to a massive 87% for clubs in England’s second-tier – the EFL Championship, which is currently sponsored by Sky Bet.

To date, the Big Step’s petition to put a stop to gambling advertising and sponsorship in football has clocked up 7,000 signatures, and Mr Grimes hopes to hit a target of 10,000 to then hand it over to Downing Street.

The UK Government has already taken measures, which include the whistle-to-whistle ban on sports betting adverts during events that are being broadcast live.

However, for the Big Step, this action isn’t enough. It wants a more complete ban, with pitchside hoardings being thrown into the spotlight because they can easily be viewed by children and other vulnerable groups whilst watching a match.

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