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Gambling company sponsorship of football – What should be done?

Following the announcement of a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling in the UK from April, the spotlight is now on the Government to see how quickly it will get on with its promised review of the 2005 Gambling Act.


One focus of great interest is what the implications might be for gambling company sponsorship of football clubs. Many of us would be looking for a total ban on any such sponsorship. Piecemeal moves such as simply banning a gambling company sponsor’s name or logo appearing on players’ shirts would have little effect.


Letting companies off the hook if they simply give the appearance of promoting responsible gambling, which the companies themselves would no doubt favour, would just maintain the status quo and be worse than useless from a public health point of view. Take, for example, the antics of 32Red's ‘Stay In Control’ campaign. It was noticed that a video clip saw Wayne Rooney, now of Derby County, interviewed while walking around the football pitch discussing problem gambling. 32Red is a sponsor of the Derby club and the 32Red logo was displayed on Rooney’s jacket throughout, and shown at the end of the video.


This is not so much social responsibility as a cynical and desperate attempt to keep taking money from people’s pockets in the face of growing awareness of the harm gambling is causing individuals, families and communities.


G4 newsletter (info@gx4,com) 23/01/2020.

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