The Big Step Pushes for Gambling Ad Ban Ahead of England’s Euro Cup Game

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England faces Denmark today in the last of the two UEFA Euro Cup 2020 semifinal games. Spain put up a champion’s effort against Italy yesterday before losing in penalty shots and all eyes will now be watching anxiously to see who will emerge with the victory today. As soccer fans around the world prepare for the big game, an anti-gambling group in England is using the popularity of the competition to draw attention to itself, waiting until almost the last minute to urge TV broadcasters to ban all gambling ads during the game.

The Big Step Steps Into the Limelight

The Big Step is an anti-gambling campaign that is part of the larger anti-gambling group, Gambling With Lives. According to SBC News, it has penned a letter to the heads of UK broadcaster ITV, urging them to block gambling ads during the entirety of today’s match. The organization explains that more than 20 million people in the UK will be watching the game and points out that many of these will be children who would be exposed to the ads. Contrary to popular belief, however, TV still isn’t responsible for raising those children.

In the letter sent to ITV, the group said that it is “disappointed to see gambling advertising” during ITV’s broadcasts of the Euro Cup. It believes that the advertising of “addictive products” results in gambling-related harms and feels ITV is partially responsible for those harms. It further urges, “We can only hope that ITV changes its position on this to prevent further suffering for many families up and down the county.”

Continued Ad Crackdowns Not Helping

The Big Step has launched several campaigns to try to get broadcasters to back down from their relationships with gambling advertising, despite the comparatively low rate of gambling addiction – less than 4% – in the UK. It’s unclear if it or other groups are targeting other “addictive products,” such as alcohol and tobacco, which cause more financial damage and health issues than gambling. It isn’t clear if ITV has responded to the letter it just received, but it has previously stated that it has reduced the coverage during the Euro Cup compared to other tournaments.

In its letter, The Big Step also asserts that there is “no excuse to show a single gambling advert” because, of course, hiding a sensitive subject, instead of addressing it, makes it go away. Just like what is done with alcohol, tobacco, firearms and even sugary products, it would make more sense to keep the subject of gambling in the open, where it can be discussed and addressed as the socially acceptable activity it is. Nothing is risk-free and it’s up to individuals and families to prevent a problem from developing, which can’t be done if the topic is swept under the rug.

England Looks For Victory over Denmark

England and Denmark face off today at Wembley Stadium in London, with one of the other moving on to face Italy in the final Euro Cup 2020 game. The Spain vs. Italy game had sports gamblers who took the favorites enjoying their winnings, while they missed if they took the Over on the 2.5-goal  Over/Under. The odds given to Spain and Italy were much closer than those in today’s game, and England looks poised to take a solid win.

The moneyline leans heavily to England, which is getting -140 to Denmark’s +425. If Denmark were to win, it would be the upset of the century, but it’s currently not looking good. The Over/Under for the game is at 2.5 once again, but this match has an outside chance of going over. England is a dominating team, but Denmark has scored the second-most goals in this Euro Cup. This is definitely going to make for a great contest for soccer fans, as well as sports gamblers.  

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