MP calls for betting adverts to be banned from football programmes

Gambling companies should be banned from advertising in football's programs, one MP said.

A study by the PA news agency showed that six of the 10 matchday publications in the Premier League this weekend contain advertisements from bookmakers or casinos.

The Bournemouth program for their Sunday Watford competition contained the most individual ads with three, while publications for the games in Tottenham, Everton, Leicester, Wolves and Crystal Palace also included advertisements.

An advertisement in the Bournemouth competition day program
An advertisement in the Bournemouth competition day program (Ed Elliot / PA).

It sharpened the focus on gambling in football this week after the recoil over live streaming on a gambling site of matches in the FA Cup third round, which was only accessible by placing £ 5 or placing a bet on a game.

The football association was heavily criticized for the deal it had concluded with IMG, a sports media company, which allowed seven bookmakers to stream FA Cup matches to customers who had active accounts, and these companies have since agreed to show the games on a free platform .

With programs & # 39; s that are often aimed at a younger audience, Carolyn Harris, the Labor MP for Swansea East who this week asked an urgent question about the gambling streams in the Lower House, has called for bans on advertisements from gambling companies.

"It takes care of it, they try to normalize gambling, and it makes young people believe that participating in a football-related gambling activity is normal," she told PA's news agency. "And it's not normal.

"We have had many, many years of successful tournaments when gambling was nothing and they did not invade the space of these young people.

“It's like subliminal learning, they cheat them into thinking there's nothing wrong with a football bet. Where does this all come from?

"I want to see them banned, 100 percent."

In the past there were restrictions on banning tobacco and alcohol and Harris wants gambling to be confronted with sanctions.

Sponsoring and advertising of bookmakers is a common place in football
Sponsoring and advertising bookmakers is a common place in football (Nick Potts / PA)

"We will never know how many people started gambling by seeing an advertisement in a program," she added.

“We will never know how many children are going home tonight and think that it is completely normal.

"It is a public health issue and must be recognized as smoking and alcohol.

"We need to look at what causes this public health problem and one of the factors will be open advertising for gambling."

Sheffield United, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Chelsea were the clubs that did not contain specific advertisements, although some links with bookmakers were emphasized in the program.

Leicester and Everton had two advertisements in their publication, with Spurs, Palace and Wolves one each.

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