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UK News

Christian charity CARE says gambling advertisements in football must end

by Alex Collett

Gambling adverts featuring sports stars and celebrities will no longer be allowed to target under-18s.

New rules come into force today 1st October 2022, meaning they can't be part of promotions.

Christian charity CARE have demanded action to curb an onslaught of gambling advertising in football after a series of media reports highlighted abuses by the betting industry.

Only on Thursday 29th September 2022, it has been reported that football clubs are taking a cut of gamblers' losses, leading to claims that they are exploiting fans and gambling addicts.

Last week, a gambling firm associated with Premier League clubs was fined £400,000 by a regulator for marketing gambling to children.

Jamie Gillies, senior press officer for CARE told Premier the addiction can become life threatening: “People are bombarded with gambling ads on football strips on billboards, on telly when you're trying to watch a game.

“We know that there are rising numbers of people for whom gambling is becoming a problem.

“Around 400,000 people in the UK are confirmed to be gambling addicts, and around a million are thought to be at risk of becoming addicted to gambling and for those people being exposed to gambling adverts isn't simply something that they can brush off.

“It's something which is very, very hard for them to see. Because they're grappling a very acute addiction, which leads them to lose all their money and get into huge debt, which places massive strain on the relationship, which can lead to other addictions like alcohol addiction, and drug dependency, homelessness, and even suicide, and those around one suicide every day.”

CARE have tirelessly been calling on the government to bring forward a white paper, which they have failed to produce.

Mr Gillies, stressed that Churches and Christians can also help people they know might be struggling with the addiction: “I think fostering an open culture in churches where people are able to come forward is an important thing.

“So they can admit that they're struggling, as people do struggle with other addictions as well.

“So not judging people, making them feel able to come forward and speak and offer them prayer and support and directing them to services that that can really help them because this is a serious issue gambling addiction.

“It's something that does need specialist counselling and support sometimes and there are a number of great charities out there that can help.”

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