Fan campaign calls for end to gambling sponsorship in English football

The group aims to collect over a million signatures.
The group aims to collect over a million signatures.

With the Premier League to vote on limited voluntary restrictions, some fans want an all-out ban.

UK.- A group of football fans in the UK has launched a petition that aims to collect more than a million signatures to call for an end to all gambling sponsorship in English football. The move comes ahead of the UK’s delayed gambling white paper and ahead of a Premier League vote on voluntary limited restrictions.

The Footballers Supporters Against Gambling Adverts campaign is being led by recovering gambling addicts and families who have been affected by gambling-related suicide. It wants all football clubs in all leagues to drop gambling sponsorships and reject future deals.

The group said in a statement: “Nowhere is gambling’s pernicious presence felt more than in football, which acts as the ‘hook’ that draws young, first-time gamblers in, setting them up for a lifetime of addiction.”

Campaigns such as The Big Step have also made similar calls. Premier League clubs are due to vote next month on whether to voluntarily agree to phase out front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship, but its proposal would allow advertising to remain in other placements. A majority of 14 clubs would need to agree for the plan to advance.

Its proposal came amid claims that the government was likely to not include a ban on gambling sponsorship in its overhaul of the 2005 Gambling Act, despite such a move initially being expected as part of its review.

The English Football League, which has a lucrative tie-up with Sky Bet, has made no such move to restrict gambling sponsorship and says it is more dependent on funds from gambling operators.

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