the Football Supporters Association team up with GambleAware
A new survey carried out by the Football Supporters Association (FSA) in conjunction with GambleAware’s safer gambling ‘Bet Regret’ campaign has found that football clubs have to do much more to educate their fans about the risks of gambling.
With commercial partnerships between clubs and bookmakers increasingly common, supporters were asked if they felt their club was doing enough to warn of the risks of gambling – and only 10% of fans felt that they were.
Additionally, only 13% of respondents agree that they are (or would be) happy for their club to be sponsored by a gambling company.
Supporters were also particularly critical of betting companies sponsoring individual players, such as 32Red’s sponsorship of Wayne Rooney wearing the number 32 shirt at Derby County – 84% of respondents felt that this goes too far and they should think twice about such partnerships.
Fans were asked a range of questions about the role of gambling at the match and many were concerned that young supporters are being unnecessarily exposed to gambling messages.
Kevin Miles, chief executive for The Football Supporters’ Association, said: “Football clubs are not like any other business – they are an integral part of many match-going supporters’ lives and have a duty of care. It’s clear fans want their clubs to do more on educating their supporters about the risks of gambling and alongside GambleAware we’ll be pushing clubs, particularly those with prominent gambling sponsors, to do better.”
The survey is the first piece of joint work undertaken by GambleAware and the FSA, forming the latest part of the ‘Bet Regret’ campaign, a high-profile campaign educating the public about gambling. ‘Bet Regret’ is the sinking feeling gamblers often get when they make an impulsive bet they know they shouldn’t have.
The partnership will see a number of initiatives launched throughout the 2019-20 season to encourage moderation of betting behaviours, particularly when drunk, bored or chasing losses. These will tap into football fans’ passions, including a nationwide 5-a-side football tournament and a live tour with ex-pros educating supporters about safer gambling.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive Officer for GambleAware, said: “The results of the survey highlight fans’ concerns that football clubs and gambling companies could do more to encourage safe betting and make people, especially young people, aware of the risks.
“Our new partnership with the Football Supporters’ Association is based on a shared agenda to help create a safe betting environment in football. It means the voice of the fans will be heard and allows us to engage directly with them in communities to encourage moderate betting behaviour.”
Alex Hurst from Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust said: “This is an important piece of work that reflects what we’ve heard from many of our members and the wider fan base – gambling companies have a huge presence at football now and a lot of people can get drawn into addictive betting behaviours.
“Having said that we’re not the fun police, we know lots of fans enjoy a wager as part of their match-day routine, but we’d urge clubs to step up and do more to warn their customers about the risks.”