For immediate release:
MSP SUPPORTS GAMBLING AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey is lending her support to a social media initiative that seeks to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the relationship between football and betting.
GambleAware’s #CanWeHaveOurBallBack campaign is designed to generate conversation and prompt reflection about the impact of betting on football and ask the question whether betting is taking away the nations’ love of football.
The launch of the national conversation comes amid growing concern about the nature and extent of gambling-related marketing and whether it has led to the normalisation of gambling for children. Figures released recently by the Gambling Commission show that that 450,000 children spend their own money on gambling, and that 55,000 children are problem gamblers.
Announced at the beginning of December, gambling firms voluntarily agreed to a “whistle-to-whistle” television advertising ban, however this will not come into force until the beginning of the 2019/2020 season.
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey is supporting the campaign and said it was very timely due to the crammed football fixture list over the Christmas period.
Commenting, Clare Haughey MSP said:
“There’s nothing wrong with a small flutter and of course many people enjoy a bet. But for too many, it’s a slippery slope towards addiction.
“Football is a game which is enjoyed by people of all ages, but without a frank discussion about the recent uptick in gambling-related marketing, we’re in danger of forgetting the reasons we fell in love with the sport in the first place.
“Between December 26 and January 4 there are only two days that a Scottish or English football match isn’t televised, so there may be an added temptation to bet at this time of year.
“I hope this initiative encourages fans to reconsider their relationship with betting and football, and remember that ultimately football is about winning goals, rather than bets.”
Marc Etches, GambleAware’s Chief Executive, added:
“We recognise that gambling-related sponsorship and advertising are important sources of funding for both professional football and grass-roots community participation in the sport.
“However, there is growing public concern about the nature and extent of the relationship between football and betting. In particular, whether the extent of betting-related marketing around football is contributing to the normalisation of gambling for children.”
Further information on the campaign can be read here: https://about.gambleaware.org/news/canwehaveourballback/
List of televised football fixtures: https://www.live-footballontv.com/
Cited Gambling Commission statistics can be found here: https://www.racingpost.com/news/calls-for-action-as-55-000-children-are-classified-as-problem-gamblers/354696
‘Whistle-to-whistle’ TV advertising voluntary ban: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/46453954
Gamble Aware contact:
Date published: 20th December 2018