The relationship between gambling and football has long been criticised. However, what many people don’t know is that football teams around the world are using their partnerships with gambling operators to promote responsible gambling and are doing a lot to help keep people safe. Here are just some of the ways football teams across different leagues help to protect sports bettors and gamblers.
Over the last year, more and more football clubs have worked with their gambling sponsors to relinquish the space on their football kits and remove all logos of their gambling sponsors. Many have also opted to replace the logos of gambling companies with messages which promote safer and more responsible gambling.
For example, football clubs Motherwell, Newport County, Huddersfield Town, and Macclesfield Town all partnered with sponsor Paddy Power to scrap the bookmakers’ logo from kits and replace them with safer gambling messages.
Similarly, 32Red operator the Kindred Group launched a shirt campaign with football teams Rangers F.C., Derby County, Leeds United, Middlesbrough, and Preston North, replacing all of its logos on the clubs’ jerseys with responsible gambling messages.
Supporting Safer Gambling Week
In addition to replacing gambling logos with safer messaging, most football clubs in the UK have signed up to Responsible Gambling Week. The annual campaign, which has now been renamed to Safer Gambling Week, is held in November and sees businesses online and offline promote safe gambling for an entire week.
Football clubs have begun signing up to the campaign now too, displaying special Safer Gambling Week messages at football stadiums and on social media channels. Last year, football clubs Stoke City FC, Sunderland AFC, Middlesbrough, Derby County, and the Blackburn Rovers all replaced their club logo with the logo of Safer Gambling Week on jerseys too.
In 2019, the football clubs which pledged their support for Safer Gambling Week also published information as well as tips to help keep gambling habits under control. Although football clubs supporting Safer Gambling Week is still new, we can expect more football clubs to pledge their support in the coming years.
By the way, as of this year and for the first time ever, partners of sports betting websites and online casinos such as Sister-Sites.co.uk are participating in promoting the Safer Gambling week as well. This came after a change in regulation through the UK’s Gambling Commission and support from several Premier League teams.
Are Football Gambling Sponsorships Bad?
Over the last few years, football shirt sponsorships have come under intense scrutiny with many claiming that they promote gambling to vulnerable people, including those at risk of developing harm and children too. In fact, it’s been suggested that football sponsorships with gambling companies can encourage gambling with children.
As a result, many organisations and people within the UK have been campaigning for an end to football gambling sponsorships, particularly with the upcoming Gambling Act 2005 review. However, it’s important to note that gambling sponsorships are actually important to football clubs.
Gambling sponsorships help raise money for football clubs, allowing them to spend money on their local community, fund training venues, and keep players paid well. While these sponsorships help promote gambling companies and websites, they can also help promote clubs too.
In short, football shirt gambling sponsorships are controversial; they can be risky but do help football clubs as well as local communities. Thankfully, football clubs today are working harder than ever to promote safer gambling.