The Big Step sends Premier League open letter ahead of gambling sponsorship vote

The Big Step, a campaign calling for an end to gambling adverts and sponsorship in football, has published a letter from over 100 people affected by gambling harm ahead of September’s vote.

the big step football stadium gambling insider web image

The letter cited concerns regarding the upcoming vote, stating that “relying on clubs to self-regulate has not worked so far,” then going on to highlight concerns over the number of gambling adverts shown in Premier League games, giving an example of one match that displayed 700 adverts.

The group stressed that it is not anti-gambling, that it is not “trying to completely end the relationship between gambling and football;” but that “it should not be promoted, especially in a globally-adored league where young people make up a quarter of the audience.”

Premier League clubs Fulham FC and Everton FC recently signed partnerships with gambling firms W88 and Stake, respectively. These moves cast doubt over both clubs’ commitment to reducing the presence of gambling advertisements in football.

In comparison, Crystal Palace chose to forgo a partnership with W88 in May 2022, instead choosing car retailer Cinch as the team’s front-of-shirt sponsor.

The move came amid the highly contested gambling advertisement debate, although it is unknown whether this was a factor in the decision.

The letter went on to express disappointment at the continued delay of the Government’s Gambling Act review White Paper, which has been postponed due to opposition from senior Government members and then again by the Conservative Party leadership contest.

The delayed vote on a ban on gambling advertisements in football will take place in September, with reports suggesting clubs will back the ban if certain conditions are met.

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