Walk and petition kicks off campaign to end gambling sponsorship in football.
Recovering gambling addicts and their families will join campaigning organisations Gambling with Lives and The Big Step for a sponsored 130 mile walk across five days at the end of September, visiting seven different English Premier League and Championship football clubs that have gambling sponsors or partners.
The Big Step was founded to raise awareness of football’s growing dependence on gambling: there are 55 different gambling sponsorship or partnership deals with 44 football clubs in the top two divisions. Founded by former gambling addict James Grimes, the Gambling with Lives charity project has run a number of high profile events to underline the need to end gambling advertising in football.
Young people make up 25% of the audience of Premier League football and so are being exposed to gambling through shirt sponsorship, league sponsorship, pitch side advertising, TV broadcast advertising, social media coverage and endorsements by footballers. This exposure is proven to increase brand recall and brand recognition in children as young as six years old, normalising gambling as a part of football.
The Big Step is launching a Change.org petition that calls on the government to end gambling advertising, promotion and sponsorship in football, and in conjunction with Gambling With Lives this event hopes to draw attention to the suicide risk of gambling disorder, while promoting independent NHS treatment at the NHS Northern Gambling Service.
The walk will visit local grounds on Thursday 24th September, arriving at Molineux at 10am, The Hawthorns at 2pm and St Andrews at 4.30pm. More information can be found here.