It’s been reported that under a Labour government football clubs will no longer be allowed to sign shirt sponsorship with betting companies in order to protect children from early exposure to gambling, and also deter those who may become ‘problem gamblers’.
The UK gambling commission is also taking a hard line on gambling operators after the exponential growth over the last several years. With more new bingo sites in 2018 launching it is safe to say that a new labour government will be keeping a close eye on this sector.
The latest figures show that those that have an online gambling issue spend on average £98 each day, can place up to 90 bets and are more likely to gamble in the middle of the night. These figures compare with just £14 among gamblers that are not considered to be at risk.
Those gamblers will typically place and average of three to four bets a day (statistics provided by Gamble Aware.) It is young, unmarried men who are unemployed but who are looking for work who are considered to be most at risk of developing a gambling problem, and the latest statistics should enable the online gambling companies to identify and also protect any individual who might develop a gambling problem.
Labours policy was unveiled by deputy leader Tom Watson, who is also the shadow minister for digital, culture media and sport said that a Labour government would encourage the Football Association to implement its own ban on any sponsorship deals with betting companies, but it was prepared to legislate if it is needed.
These proposals follow the record fine which was levied on an online gambling company when a technical failure allowed 7,000 customers who had chosen to bar themselves from gambling were still able to gamble.
The simple fact is that the country has more than 400,000 problem gamblers which is a figure that has grown by a third in three years. Many problem gamblers suffer the urge to gamble continually regardless of the damage they are doing to their families and themselves.
Mr Watson is also reported as saying; ‘football has to play its part in tackling Britain’s hidden epidemic of gambling addiction, shirt sponsorship sends out a message that football clubs do not take problem gambling among their own fans seriously enough. It puts gambling brands in front of fans of all ages, not just at matches but on broadcasts and highlights packages on both commercial television and the BBC.’