Soccer Fan Alliance in Germany Calls for Ban on Gambling Ads

A soccer fan alliance in Germany is pushing for measures to curb gambling advertising issuing a set of demands calling authorities and sports organizations to “accept responsibility through political regulation and voluntary commitments in football.”

Time to Act Now

Our Curve (Unsere Kurve), a fan alliance representing interests of supporters of Bundesliga clubs FSV Mainz 05, SC Eintracht Berlin, VFL Bochum, DSC Arminia Bielefeld, FC Union Berlin and FC Cologne, released a statement Tuesday, expressing its concerns related to the “increased media presence” of sports betting.

Worried about the amount of public exposure to betting advertising via sports, both through a number of prominent soccer clubs with sports betting sponsorships in place and the German Football Association (DFB), the alliance called on authorities and sports organizations to undertake action and protect fans and the audience.

The alliance is deeply concerned that “the type and placement of advertising” makes soccer fans and the audience “act as if sports betting is a natural part of football and fan culture,” while prominent athletes, clubs, and media shows continue to serve as “advertising partners” to convince the public gambling on sport is harmless.

“We call on politicians to immediately regulate the advertising of sports betting in public spaces more closely and to carry out intensive education and prevention.”

Our Curve

Our Curve called for politicians to impose a ban on sports betting advertising across stadiums, sports-related media and other sector-related areas, and to prohibit individual operators from recruiting athletes, officials or other public sport figures for sports betting-related partnerships, collaborations or promotions.

“We demand that football associations and clubs refrain from cooperating and sponsoring contracts with sports betting providers. In the case of existing contracts, we demand restrictions on the visibility of advertising for sports betting as well as financial participation in independent educational and prevention work.”

Our Curve

Besides the demand for a joint resolution from sports organizations to voluntarily cut their participation in sports betting partnerships by July 1, 2022, the alliance called for consistent efforts to raise awareness about the risk related to sports betting, arguing that soccer fans are among the most affected by problematic gambling.

Prevention and Treatment Funding

The soccer fan organization also demanded individual athletes’ participation in gambling-related initiatives be prohibited immediately while existing contracts with operators to have 50% of the income directed towards officially recognized prevention and treatment programs.

Our Curve’s demands will not be met with enthusiasm by soccer clubs that had previously argued the new federal framework introduced under the Fourth Interstate Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv) significantly reduced their commercial capabilities.

A similar reaction can be expected from Germany’s Sports Betting Association (DSWV) that was on record last November stating it would challenge any ban on sports betting advertising.

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