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Men's Football Clubs are not doing enough to fight gambling addiction, fans say

FOOTBALL fans do not believe their clubs are doing enough in the fight against gambling addiction, a new survey has concluded.

More than 1,200 supporters were surveyed to mark the launch of a partnership between the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA) and GambleAware’s safer gambling “Bet Regret” campaign.

The survey, to help promote safer gambling in football, found only 10 per cent of fans believe their clubs are doing enough to encourage safe betting and educating supporters about the risks of gambling.

Eighty eight per cent of fans believe that with more opportunities to bet on football, it is easier than ever to get drawn into making impulsive bets and only 13 per cent said they are, or would be, happy for their club to be sponsored by a gambling company.

Eighty four per cent of fans feel that betting companies sponsoring individual players, such as 32Red’s deal with Wayne Rooney, who is set to wear the number 32 shirt at Derby County, goes too far.

The FSA’s chief executive Kevin Miles said: “It’s clear fans want their clubs to do more on educating their supporters about the risks of gambling and alongside GambleAware we’ll be pushing clubs, particularly those with prominent gambling sponsors, to do better.”

The FSA’s partnership with GambleAware will see a number of initiatives launched throughout the season, including a nationwide five-a-side football tournament and a live tour involving former players.

Newcastle United Supporters’ Trust chairman Alex Hurst added: “This is an important piece of work that reflects what we’ve heard from many of our members and the wider fan base — gambling companies have a huge presence at football now and a lot of people can get drawn into addictive betting behaviours.

“Having said that we’re not the fun police, we know lots of fans enjoy a wager as part of their match-day routine, but we’d urge clubs to step up and do more to warn their customers about the risks.”

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