GambleAware has launched #CanWeHaveOurBallBack, a new social media initiative that seeks to raise awareness and encourage discussion about the relationship between football and betting. The film-led initiative is designed to generate conversation and prompt reflection about the impact of betting on football.
The launch comes off the back of recent financial analysis by GambleAware and gambling industry specialists Regulus Partners which shows that 80% of marketing spend by gambling companies is now online.
The surge in online spending coincides with growing public concern about the nature of gambling-related marketing in general, and in particular, whether gambling-related marketing around football is increasingly contributing to the normalisation of gambling for children. Figures released last week by the Gambling Commission show that 450,000 children spend their own money on gambling, and that 55,000 children are problem gamblers. 59% of 11 -16 year olds have also seen a gambling-related advertisement online, and one in eight follow gambling companies on social media.
GambleAware has commissioned research into the impacts of gambling-related marketing, which will report in 2019. In the meantime, GambleAware hopes this initiative stimulates a public debate among football fans.
Marc Etches, GambleAware’s Chief Executive, comments:
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.
This film-led initiative is intended to appeal to anyone who loves football. We hope it will encourage them to reflect on why they love the game, and whether the current relationship between football and betting is undermining what it means to be an authentic fan.
We are not advocating any specific solutions, but we do want to invite anyone interested to take part in the conversation, thereby helping us to raise awareness of gambling as a public health issue, and to reduce the harms that arise. You can help to do this simply by sharing the film across your social media channels and use the #CanWeHaveOurBallBack.”
Paul Goodwin, Co-Founder of the Scottish Football Supporters Association, comments:
There’s nothing wrong with a flutter and lots of our members enjoy a bet. But for too many, it’s a slippery slope towards addiction. We need checks and balances and more controls, as well as more information on the help and support that is there for players and fans. Clubs and leagues are in great position to take a lead on this, and I think that’s a responsibility they have for as long as they insist on taking money from the gambling industry.”
The #CanWeHaveOurBallBack online video is directed by BAFTA nominee Scott Lyon,