Ex-footballer Paul Merson joins forces with TalkBanStop in pre-match ritual film

Ex-footballer Paul Merson has promoted a new film about gambling during major sporting events, alongside Liverpool player Gilly Flaherty and YouTube personality Ellis Platten.

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The film features all three opening up about their gambling experiences in a bid to raise awareness of the free gambling support and tools available via TalkBanStop, a partnership between GamCare, Gamban and Gamstop.

Merson, Platten and Flaherty discuss their pre-match rituals in the film, and encourage those impacted by gambling harm to adopt a new pre-match ritual through TalkBanStop.

Ex-Arsenal and England player Merson, who said Gamban saved his life, commented: “It was great being part of the film to help raise awareness of the tools and support people can get through the TalkBanStop partnership. It’s so different these days watching big games and tournaments, years ago you would have to go to the bookies to place a bet but now your phone acts as a walking casino, the temptation is constant.

“By speaking to an advisor on GamCare’s Helpline, getting a free Gamban licence and signing up for Gamstop, people can put the barriers in place to ensure gambling doesn’t get in the way of the games ahead.”

YouTuber and Podcaster Platten revealed that he experienced serious gambling issues after placing his first bet at the age of 14, with football as his gateway to gambling.

And Flaherty talked about her indirect experience with gambling, watching on as loved ones and teammates struggled with gambling-related issues.

GamCare CEO Anna Hemmings commented: “At GamCare, we know that major sporting tournaments can be challenging for those struggling with gambling. From the office sweepstakes, increased gambling advertising and a busy lineup of fixtures, the temptation to place bets will be heightened and we know many people will be worried that gambling could get in the way of their enjoyment of the games.

“We want anyone struggling with gambling to know that, through TalkBanStop, people have the perfect pre-match ritual to help remove the temptation.”

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