Football clubs urged to give more awareness around problem gambling

GambleAware, the problem gambling funding body and the UK’s Football Supporters’ Association have called on professional football clubs to be more proactive in educating fans about the risks that come along with gambling.

Only 10 per cent of UK football fans feel that their club is doing enough to warn them of the risks of gambling, according to a new FSA survey carried out in conjunction with GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ safer gambling campaign.

GambleAware launched its Bet Regret initiative in February and had a 61% rate of recognition amongst the campaign audience during the first wave of activity. Last month, the charity commenced the second stage of the campaign.

Supporters have been asked a number of questions about the role of gambling in the sport, with only 13 per cent of all the respondents claiming they are or would be happy for their team to be sponsored by a gambling company. Some fans have also raised concerns about young fans being unnecessarily exposed to gambling branding and messaging.

The has included new initiatives, such as gambling brands sponsoring individual players. Fans have been critical of the role in which 32Red played with Wayne Rooney when joining Championship club Derby County. The former England striker will wear the squad number 32 as part of a sponsorship deal with the operator when he joins the club in January 2020.

FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said: “Football clubs are not like any other business – they are an integral part of many match-going supporters’ lives and have a duty of care.

“It’s clear fans want their clubs to do more on educating their supporters about the risks of gambling and alongside GambleAware we’ll be pushing clubs, particularly those with prominent gambling sponsors, to do better.”

The survey is the first piece of joint work which has been undertaken by GambleAware and the FSA, with the two organisations beginning to run a series of other initiatives throughout the 2019-20 season in order to encourage moderation of betting behaviours.

GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches added: “The results of the survey highlight fans’ concerns that football clubs and gambling companies could do more to encourage safe betting and make people, especially young people, aware of the risks.

“Our new partnership with the FSA is based on a shared agenda to help create a safe betting environment in football. It means the voice of the fans will be heard and allows us to engage directly with them in communities to encourage moderate betting behaviour.”

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