Responsible Gambling Message on Pitch
Football Clubs are taking the Responsible Gambling Message to the Pitch
Football Clubs Are Taking Safer Gambling Message On To The Pitch
Currently a number of gambling companies have shirt sponsorship deals with nine out of the twenty Premier League clubs and seventeen out of the twenty-four clubs in the EFL Championship, triggering a public debate about the links between football and the gambling industry.
However, sponsoring companies are increasingly viewing their shirt sponsorship deals as an opportunity to promote responsible gambling messages to the hundreds of millions of viewers who watch English football.
During Safer Gambling Week 2018, Swansea City's players wore shirts emblazoned with the campaign logo, instead of the logo of club sponsor, BetUK.com. The special edition shirts were then auctioned to raise money for the Gorgon Moody Association, a charity which runs a residential treatment programme for gamblers.
In September 2019 the Club published a Safer Gambling Pledge, promising to conduct its sponsorship in a socially responsible way, ensuring the marketing of gambling products is balanced by the promotion of welfare measures for gamblers. Amongst the promises it has made is a pledge that half-time advertising by betting companies will be restricted to the promotion of responsible gambling and that players and staff will attend responsible gambling education and awareness sessions organised by the EFL and SkyBet.
West Ham United's players displayed the Safer Gambling Week logo on specially designed T-shirts before two of their home matches in 2018 and sponsors Betway donated advertising assets at the London Stadium to support the campaign.
West Ham will be one of several Premier League clubs supporting the 2019 Safer Gambling Week campaign, which takes place from 7th - 13th November, which is also backed by the EFL, which represents the seventy two clubs outside the Premier League and is sponsored by SkyBet.
A significant responsible gambling initiative was also recently announced by Kindred Group, parent company of 32Red, which sponsors five football clubs. All the clubs will display safer gambling messages on their shirts this season, each with a unique message.
The messages will be displayed by Scottish Premier League club Rangers (Stay in control), and EFL clubs Preston North End (Never chase losses), Derby County (Play Responsibly), Leeds United (Keep gambling fun) and Middlesbrough (Set deposit limits).
The EFL teams will wear the shirts every time they play each other – they were first worn in September 2019 when Derby and Leeds played out a 1-1 draw at Elland Road, and by Rangers during a match against Celtic.
Neil Banbury, General Manager at Kindred Group UK commented that there were opportunities for sponsors to do much more to promote healthier gambling behaviour and benefit local communities. The company agrees a year-long investment program in Derby, in partnership with the Derby County Community Trust to promote men's mental health hubs.