Football club Bolton Wanderers has cut all ties with betting companies, and instead will seek to support charities and organisations that provide help for those suffering from gambling addiction.
The League One club will no longer provide on-site betting provision at the University of Bolton Stadium, or enter into any new commercial partnerships and sponsorships with gambling firms.
The decision comes amid a potentially momentous period for football in the UK, with the government reportedly considering banning betting companies from sponsoring football shirts, as part of its review of the Gambling Act 2005.
“Problem gambling ruins lives and we’ve taken this stance to show our support for those who are suffering from a betting addiction,” said Bolton Wanderers Chairman Sharon Brittan.
“Latest research shows that there are between 340,000 and 1.4 million adult gambling addicts in the UK, and over 60,000 young people aged between 11 and 16 are addicted.
“We as an industry must do more and through our work with Bolton Wanderers in the community, Bolton Wanderers Football Club will support outreach programmes for those who experience gambling problems.”
The club said while it remains respectful of the English Football League’s (EFL) commercial partnerships and those of other clubs, it’s position on betting provision and betting sponsorship “is now clear.” The EFL is currently sponsored by Sky Bet.
Bolton Wanderers CEO Neil Hart added: “We recognise that some people do want to bet and also that the league has a commercial partnership with a gambling company in place - and we are respectful of this.
"However, we will not take part in any activity to promote gambling outside the existing EFL contractual requirements.”