January 4, 2023 3 min read

NGOs in UK Criticize In-Stadium Betting Shops Worrying about Impact

Premier League and Football League are drawing more criticism than ever before, writes The Telegraph, which says professional sports franchise in soccer face an increasing pressure to sever ties with betting brands

The gambling branding has been branded as “honey traps” that end up luring young supporters. The latest criticism is triggered by the news that at least eight teams in professional soccer are going to team up with betting brands to launch “Home Shops” on-site of stadiums.

NGOs Call Betting-Sports Partnerships “Honey Traps”

Sheffield, the first club to announce this, argues that its partnership with William Hill, a prominent local operator, will create unmatched in-stadium experiences. However, not everyone is as cheerful as the partners about the outlook of the new collaborations

Gambling With Lives and the Big Step, two NGOs that have been sounding the alarm about the permissiveness of gambling in sports, have criticized the newest contracts. Cited by The Telegraph, a Gambling With Lives spokesperson outlined the dangers that lurked in the establishment of such partnerships in the first place:

We are concerned that this is a cynical way to attract football fans into gambling and that it could be particularly attractive to children who might not know it was separate from their club.

Gambling With Lives spokesperson for The Telegraph

The media reached out to the father of Lewis Keogh, a young man 34 who took his life over a £55,000 gambling debt, and who is one of the thousands of victims of unchecked gambling and the lack of adequate consumer safeguards.

In the United Kingdom, the number of gambling-related suicides is around 500 a year, and with a delayed re-regulation of the gambling market to help steer through a time of gambling advertisement proliferation, NGOs are on edge to raise awareness for the problem themselves. Keogh’s father was also interviewed by the media, and quoted saying:

Club affiliation must not be used as a honey-trap to lure young supporters into potentially life-threatening gambling. The whole concept must be reviewed before it’s rolled out more widely.

Lewis Keogh’s father

Delayed White Paper Review and Sports Clubs Ambiguity

Consumers and NGOs also have the backing of officials who are similarly keen to ensure that consumers remain protected in the long term. Sheffield MP Gill Furniss joined in and said that families bereaved by gambling-related suicide appealed to William Hill and Sheffield to remove the branding and imagery of gambling products.

Furniss urged the government to also step in and ensure that gambling advertisements and branding are not associated with sports franchises that are loved and followed by millions of young people.

The Premier League had an idea to voluntarily exclude gambling partnerships, but this was quickly put on the back burner after it became known that the White Paper is going to be delayed due to a cascade of governmental faux pas.


Although Fiona doesn't have a long-spanning background within the gambling industry, she is an incredibly skilled journalist who has built a strong interest in the constantly growing iGaming network. The team at GamblingNews.com is glad to have her on our roster to help deliver the best stories as soon as they hit. Aside from writing, she loves to dabble in online casino games such as slots and roulette, both for her own enjoyment and also as research to better improve her understanding of the industry.

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