Today, we have launched a new coalition called Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads (Football SAGA) to bring fans and supporters together, enabling them to collectively speak out about the influx of gambling advertising and marketing in the game. The site launched with the support of nine supporters’ groups, including the Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust, the Argyle Fans’ Trust, and the Blues Trust.
Manny Dominguez, Chair of the Bantams Supporters’ Trust, said:
“Gambling doesn’t just exist in betting shops; it is everywhere and is easy to access online. Gambling addiction has affected so many people’s lives. We back this campaign for an end to harmful gambling advertising and sponsorship in football.”
The launch of Football SAGA comes against the backdrop of Tracey Crouch’s fan-led review of football, the results of which were released on Wednesday, but football’s problematic relationship with gambling did not feature. To join Football SAGA, just click here.
James Grimes, founder of The Big Step, said:
“The fan-led review report is looking to make football fairer and more sustainable, but gambling’s dominance over the sport is not fair or sustainable and mustn’t be ignored – we will do everything we can to make sure fans views are heard by government.
“There is overwhelming public support for a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship in football. We’re delighted to already have the support of nine supporters’ groups, and we look forward to welcoming many more to Football SAGA.”
Research indicates there are between 250 and 650 gambling-related suicides in the UK each year, with football often acting as the hook that draws gamblers in. There are between 430,000 and 1.4 million people currently addicted to gambling in the UK, with those suffering from gambling disorder up to 15 times more likely to take their own lives than members of the general population.
Mo Razzaq, Club Liaison Officer at the Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust, said:
“Gambling advertising has saturated the game. So much, that it has become normalised to such an extent that young people grow up thinking this is a harmless activity. Compulsive gambling has a devastating impact on physical, mental, and financial health. We need to take action against the damage it is doing to our communities and society as a whole.”
Of the twenty clubs currently playing in the Premier League, all but one has a gambling sponsor or partner. Consequently, a gambling brand is visible on Match of the Day up to 89% of the time, with research discovering that a gambling logo can appear over 700 times during a single televised match.