Clapton Community Football Club has become the 17th club to back our campaign to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football.
This adds to the growing resistance against gambling advertising across all levels of English football, with the Gambling Act currently being reviewed by the government. It is rumoured that gambling shirt sponsorship in the Premier League could be banned in the new Gambling Act, but The Big Step and Clapton CFC are demanding an end to all promotion of gambling across all levels of football.
Football is so often the ‘hook’ that draws first-time gamblers in, many of whom are then cross-sold highly addictive, dangerous gambling products. Research suggests there are up to 650 gambling-related suicides every year in the UK, with those addicted to gambling up to 15 times more likely to take their own lives than members of the general population.
By backing the campaign, Clapton CFC, which is owned by its fans, is joining the likes of Tranmere Rovers, Luton Town, Forest Green Rovers, Edinburgh City, Dulwich Hamlet and Drogheda United.
Clapton CFC spokesperson Joe Cassidy said:
“As a community benefit society, Clapton CFC was founded on the values of self-help and solidarity. In line with our ethical investment and sponsorship policies, we would not accept money from gambling companies, as we know the damage and poverty that gambling addiction can cause to individuals and their families.”
“Clapton fans of all ages will never be exposed to gambling ads from our club or from anyone representing it. We are more than happy to join the Big Step campaign.”
James Grimes, Founder of The Big Step and recovering gambling addict, said:
“Football supporters are sick of the nauseating amount of gambling advertising in our sport, so it feels special for a fan-owned club such as Clapton CFC to support our efforts.
“The club shares our values, and we are honoured that they have taken this big step with us. Children have a right to watch football without being encouraged to gamble and Clapton CFC’s stance will be to the benefit of their young fans and those harmed by gambling in their community and fanbase.
“With more and more clubs from all leagues saying no to gambling ads, we have no doubt that the writing is on the wall for the gambling industry’s hold over football.”