More than 45,000 soccer fans have expressed their discontent regarding gambling ads being shown during soccer competitions by signing a series of petitions initiated by Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads. The group reunites soccer fans that were either directly or indirectly harmed by gambling, including families who have lost their loved ones because of gambling-related suicide. To date, the group has created dozens of petitions, including the “Everton FC: Kick gambling ads out of football!” petition that has already gathered over 31,000 out of the 35,000 requested signatures, and the “Leicester City FC: Kick gambling ads out of football!” petition with over 5,300 signatures out of the necessary 6,000 signatures.
Kicking Gambling Ads Out of Soccer One by One
The main purpose of the Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads group is to gradually eradicate gambling ads from all soccer competitions in the UK. This need comes in the context of more than 2.9 million people who are already dealing with gambling addictions or who are at risk of suffering from gambling addiction in the UK, according to a YouGov study completed in 2022. The same study spoke about 3.3 million people also falling in the “affected others” category. These numbers further signal that gambling harm is not a problem that just affects small minorities, but it is rather severely harming. At the same time, according to data from Public Health England, there are around 409 deaths tied to gambling on a yearly basis in England.
According to the same group, the fact that many gambling companies have focused on using soccer as their primary go-to advertising platform where they can introduce their potentially addictive and dangerous products to viewers is a huge problem that needs immediate solutions. Therefore, the group has so far created 27 different petitions, asking fans of local soccer clubs to express their discontent with gambling ads shown by their clubs in stadiums and on televised ads. Supporters of the campaigns are asked to share and sign the petitions corresponding to the clubs they support.
Celebrating Through 50,000 Signatures
The Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads group has decided to celebrate the 40,000 signatures gathered so far by asking for an even greater effort to gather 10,000 more signatures to reach 50,000 by the end of the day. Through the petitions, soccer clubs are asked to cancel all current gambling partnerships and refuse to accept any future partnerships and sponsorship deals.
The Football Supporters Against Gambling Ads (Football SAGA) was launched by Gambling With Lives’ affiliated group called The Big Step last November.