This is the first professional English football club to demand a ban on gambling sponsorship in the current Gambling Act review
In the current debate on gambling advertisement in professional football, Forest Green Rovers have announced a pro-ban stance. The debate was triggered by the review of the 2005 Gambling Act, in which the English Football League has taken a pro-sponsorship stand. According to a statement of chairman Rick Perry to BBC Sport, the ban could lead to a loss of £40m a season, possibly forcing clubs to disband.
Eight of 20 Premier League teams’ shirts feature gambling sponsorships, ten out of 24 in the championship. In total, about 44 English football clubs in the top divisions are holding 55 sponsorship contracts.
The Forest Green Rovers have historically opposed to taking up gambling sponsorships and have now joined the national campaign The Big Step. The Big Step is an organisation calling for an end to gambling advertisements, while seeking to raise awareness of the sport’s growing dependent of gambling sponsorships.
It is part of the Gambling with Lives charity, which is directly involved with people suffering from gambling addiction, and focuses on events, campaigns and partnerships educating the sporting world on gambling issues.
The outcome of the debate is likely to be in favour of a ban, with UK’s top politicians supporting the idea.
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