Gambleaware Ask Can We Have Our Ball Back

Article Updated On 27th November 2018

Football and gambling adverts have been under the spotlight during 2018. Concerns have been raised regarding the number of gambling adverts supporters, and especially children, are exposed see during a match. Gambling adverts appear on shirts, hoardings and during the breaks on televised games. Gambleaware are hoping to raise more awareness with a brand new online campaign!

The film above shows various scenarios involving football. Kids playing in the street, five-a-side and Sunday League all feature in the clip. In each scenario the ball disappears and can't be found. At first this doesn't seem to make much sense - until the finale of the film which shows a betting shop with all the footballs.

Rebalance The Relationship

The point of the film is to encourage viewers to reflect why they love the game of football. More importantly whether the relationship between football and betting is damaging our experience. Gambleaware wish to open the debate and see if it's time to "rebalance the relationship between football and gambling".

According to 9 of the 20 Premier League clubs and 17 of the 24 Championship clubs have a gambling shirt sponsor. Furthermore 95% of ad breaks during a televised match are gambling adverts. More astonishingly it's claimed 450,000 11 to 16 year olds have gambled in the last week.

Football Shirt Sponsorship

Changes need to be made and Sky are looking to reduce the number of gambling adverts they show during a televised match from next season. Shirt sponsorship is a difficult one - although gambling sponsors don't feature on children's kits. As for 450,000 11 to 16 year olds gambling in the last week - where are they gambling is the question that really needs to be answered?

If kids are "gambling" amongst themselves then we did that with cards and coins long before the days of Sky. However, if they're gmabling online then that is a huge concern and one which needs resolving quickly. If we need to be compliant with regards UKGC rules then surely it must be hard for an 11-16 year to actually place a bet?

Can We Have Our Ball Back

Any initiative to open up the debate with regards football and gambling is welcome. The film itself is good and does make you reflect back to the days when football was just football. However, whilst Sky are able to show matches and have their own betting company then there will be a conflict of interest.

In fact - and we've said this before - it's high time Sky were investigated with respect to how they promote gambling. Super Six promotes gambling as does their transfer day deadline speculation. A study into gambling patterns versus the rise of Sky as a major player in football would make interesting reading.

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