Forest Green Rovers call for gambling sponsorship ban
Forest Green Rovers is backing a national campaign to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football.
The “Big Step” campaign is part of the charity Gambling With Lives – established to support those bereaved by gambling-related harm. It is calling for the end to sponsorship, promotion, and advertising of all gambling in football.
The campaign was founded to raise awareness of football’s growing dependence on gambling. Through campaigning, events and partnerships with football clubs delivering community education and awareness programmes, the Big Step aims to tackle this growing issue.
James Grimes, Founder of the Big Step, said: “We’re delighted to have the support of Forest Green Rovers. This is a vital moment to secure meaningful gambling reform in the UK. As a recovering gambling addict and massive football fan, I’m passionate about ensuring the game is part of the solution to gambling harms.
“Our outdated gambling laws need to change, especially with the exponential rise of online gambling. Sponsorship of sporting events by tobacco companies is banned and we believe gambling should be the same. To be truly effective, shirt sponsorship, stadium promotions and other branding should not be visible during matches.”
Dale Vince OBE, Chairman of Forest Green Rovers, said: “It’s like gambling has taken over football.
“If you watch a game on TV you are inundated with ads – gambling logos are on almost half of Premier League shirts, and constantly flash up on pitch side boards. For me, the fun already stopped. This is an abuse of football and of football fans.”