GambleAware launches #CanWeHaveOurBallBack

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,

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