The dangerous relationship between football and gambling advertising

We are a partnership of various Christian organizations saying that the connection between football and gambling exists.

Gambling can cause difficulties and problems for people,  it's historically been proven that way.  There's so many stories of that. Peter Shilton,  the former England goalkeeper is just about  to release a book that talks about his 45-year  addiction to problem gambling and the the effects that it had on his wife and his family and the wider public as a result and so there's a massive link at the moment between   gambling and gambling advertising and football  clubs.

It's almost a little bit like a loophole   that um the companies seem to have  exploited in the fact that within the legislation that the government has, you  can have adverts linked to sporting events   that cover in a different way  from the rest of the gambling legislation that exists.

So you've got it all over shirts you've  got shirt sponsors, you've got adverts before the Premier League games that are that are held on on a Sunday or a Monday.

They've made some   uh links where they've they've said it's not you  shouldn't have advertising within 30 minutes of the whistle um the starting whistle and the final whistle of matches, but actually when you look at it in practice it's so prevalent that you you  can probably think in your head now as I talk about a football match, you'll remember having  um some famous actor telling you that you can get ten to one.

If Wayne Rooney scores the next  goal or or it's a draw at the moment is looking unlikely so we'll give you better odds. And some of the radio programs that are not on the BBC will have specific sponsors that will be telling you the odds as you go through the game and so it's just that this is normalizing gambling and saying  football is a gambler's sport which is not good.

I think it's it is the case that football  is the national sport and it's so   pervasive through all of society so children from  a young age are involved in it, which is great, you know millions of people play even more  watch and are involved at every level.

And so, if you see and that's why advertising exists you  see the name of certain companies on the shirts of your favorite team, you're going to think about that more and you're going to want to be   involved in it more, I think.

Children especially  there's no restrictions on it and in a similar way to tobacco advertising in the 1970s and 80s, it  was everywhere. Everybody knew about it and they said well it's a sporting event, tobacco's there.

People realized it was bad for your health and so therefore legislation came in eventually but also  then the public mood and and the culture made it, made it unacceptable really to have tobacco  linked to sport, to have it directly linked   to football in the way that it is at the moment.

It's not healthy for people because the effects of gambling can affect people's own mental health,  they're the people that are closest to them because it can be an unseen killer effectively  of having people wanting to gamble more they it can affect their finances it can be hidden from  their closest family and friends and it can be devastating.

And there's a number of organizations  out there that we are linking up with as in this campaign for stop betting ads, to say that the  effects of problem gambling can result in not just harm but serious harm for not just the person that gambles but the people that are around them.

I think there's an unhealthy relationship at  the moment between professional football clubs and gambling companies.

And the evidence is  clear, there's only eight teams in the top two divisions that don't have links with gambling  companies and many of the shirt sponsors are companies that are involved in betting  and gambling.

Now that legislation that was introduced and the teams themselves have  removed from children's shirts that they sell, references to gambling.

But the irony of that is  that if you're wearing a shirt yourself you don't   see what's written on the front of your shirt so all the children see would be the adults wearing the shirt that has the name of the gambling  company on it or their players when they play, they're still wearing it and so that unhealthy  relationship of those top teams with gambling companies can only make the understanding of  gambling more normal in the community and this idea that it's it's something that just you just  do and that's unhealthy.

And we think that should   change. And so that's the reason that we are not  just talking about legislation. We're saying can we change the culture? Can even communities come  together and say look there is harm from gambling and when it's so pervasive and so linked  between professional clubs and the companies   sponsoring them, it doesn't need to  be that way.

There are other ways in which football can gain income from other  sources that will mean that there's a healthier presentation of football both for mental  health financial health and your physical health and that's important because football  has such a big influence in our society today.

Source : Youtube

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