The Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), in partnership with BeGambleAware, have announced the introduction of a ‘safer gambling hub’ to help create a safer gambling environment for all football fans in the United Kingdom.
The hub hosts a number of resources available for free download for football clubs and fans, that are part of a national safer gambling campaign led by BeGambleAware – Think Twice or You’ll Bet Regret.
Aimed at helping to inform fans about the risks of impulsive betting, Bet Regret is the sinking feeling you get the minute you make a bet without thinking it through. Often when drunk, bored or chasing losses.
Gambling is often dubbed the ‘hidden addiction’ as it can be difficult to spot, but for some fans gambling can have disastrous effects on individuals, their family and friends.
The introduction of this new hub aims to raise awareness amongst football fans of the risks of impulsive betting, to help them recognise the behaviours that can lead from low-risk betting, to a more serious gambling issue. Football clubs have access to thousands of fans and have the authority to educate them on safer gambling.
It is all too easy to have a bet with online access available almost everywhere you turn, not to mention how much betting companies are in the public eye. Betting advertisements surrounding live sports coverage are common place and sports clubs, particularly in football, play their part in accepting shirt sponsorships from betting companies making is so much harder to avoid. That does not help those that struggle with addiction and encourages more to set foot on that potentially tricky path.
Marc Etches, chief executive of BeGambleAware, said:
“The inventory we have created for the digital hub are all part of our Bet Regret campaign, and throughout this football season we have been working hand in hand with the FSA to help educate fans across the country about safer gambling and the risks of impulsive betting.
Betting when drunk, bored or chasing losses are the key characteristics we’re trying to educate fans to avoid, particularly with the plethora of opportunities to bet on football at everyone’s fingertips.
We know that from our own research with the FSA and recent news coverage that fans themselves are concerned about the relationship between gambling and football. By using these assets we are looking to work together with members of the footballing community, to help promote safer gambling amongst fans in the UK.”
David Rose, deputy chief executive of the FSA said:
“Supporter groups have real concerns about harmful betting and impulsive gambling behaviours among some football fans.
“We’ll be helping fans across the country lobby their clubs on the issue and get the safer gambling message out there. Football clubs have a unique position in their communities – so this is something they need to take seriously.”
In the 12 months to 31 March 2019, early figures show that the National Gambling Treatment Service treated 10,000 people and is projected to rise to 24,000 people a year by 2021.
Helpline activity is currently running at about 30,000 calls and online chats per annum. GambleAware also runs the website BeGambleAware.org which helps 2.7 million visitors a year, and signposts to a wide range of support services.
For more information please visit the safer gambling hub.