Football clubs urged to educate fans on risks of gambling
Problem gambling funding body GambleAware and the UK’s Football Supporters’ Association have called on professional football clubs to be more proactive in educating fans about the risks associated with gambling.
Just 10% of UK football fans felt that their club is doing enough to warn of the risks of gambling, according to a new FSA survey carried out in conjunction with GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ safer gambling campaign.
Supporters were asked a number of questions about the role of gambling in the sport, with just 13% of all respondents are or would be happy for their team to be sponsored by a gambling company. Some fans also raised concerns about young fans being unnecessarily exposed to gambling branding and messaging.
This included new initiatives, such as gambling brands sponsoring individual players. Fans were critical of the role 32Red played in Wayne Rooney 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 team in January 2020.
“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,” FSA chief executive Kevin Miles said.
“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 undertaken by GambleAware and the FSA, with the two organisations to run a series of other initiatives throughout the 2019-20 season to help encourage moderation of betting behaviours.
“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,” GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches said.
“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.”
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.