A group of over 60 survivors of gambling harm, MPs, and clinicians urged Broadcasters to suspend all UEFA European Football Championship-based gambling advertising for the tournament duration.
The group sent the letter to ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky Sports, BT Sport, TalkSport, Global Radio, Acast, and Stakhanov. The Big Stepare organizing it, which is part of the gambling with Lives Charity.
The letter reads: ‘Unfortunately, we all know how and where we want to bet. But it wouldn’t have the slightest impact if we suspend gambling advertising on TV.
“What it would do, is protect those at greatest risk of suffering gambling-related harm. Indeed, a recent study found that 54% of those classified as ‘problem gamblers’ spent money they weren’t previously intended to on gambling during the lockdown because of advertising.
‘After a difficult time, fans should be able to enjoy the tournament without being on the end of gambling advertising.
“The last year put the whole country under considerable strain with increasing anxiety and financial insecurity. We strongly believe that these factors contribute to the increased risk of gambling damage.”
“I founded the Big Step as a recovering gambling addict who was hooked in by football betting,” said James Grimes, founder of the Big Step. I love the game, but we cannot continue to allow it to have a negative relationship with gambling advertising.
“Throughout the pandemic, football was great hope, and the Euros will be a reason to rejoice as recovery continues. However, they should not serve as a platform for the promotion of addictive and harmful gambling products.”