GambleAware and FSA to promote safer gambling in football

GambleAware has entered into a new collaboration with the Football Supporters’ Association which aims to drive the promotion of safer gambling across the sport.

Delivered in conjunction with the Bet Regret safer gambling campaign, the move comes as a new survey finds clubs have to undertake more responsibility to educate fans about the risks of gambling.

The partnership is to see a number of initiatives launched throughout the 2019-20 season to encourage moderation of betting behaviours, particularly when drunk, bored or chasing losses. 

“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,” noted Kevin Miles, chief executive for The Football Supporters’ Association

“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 joint GambleAware and FSA survey asked 1,200 fans a range of questions, with many said to be concerned that young supporters are being unnecessarily exposed to gambling messages.

Furthermore, only ten per cent thought their club was doing enough to warn of the risks of gambling, with 13 per cent of respondents agreeing that they are (or would be) happy for their club to be sponsored by such an organisation.

Marc Etches, chief executive officer for GambleAware, commented: “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, added: “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.”