There is increasing concern surrounding the visibility of gambling companies in sport, both in the sponsorship of events and teams. The presence of sports sponsorship normalises gambling, in particular exposing children and young people to gambling content.
Sports events should be used to encourage healthy lifestyles, not promote damaging activities that create widespread harms and destroy lives. The recent PHE report on Gambling Harms calculates the cost of gambling harms at 1.27bn a year, with the most severe Impact in our most vulnerable communities. Such damaging content should have no place in sport.
A recent independent poll commissioned by RSPH found that nearly two thirds of the public (59%) oppose all gambling advertising in or near sports grounds or sports venues, including sports programmes, on the kit of sports teams, or on the digital advertising around a pitch, with only 9% of the public supporting such activity.1
The Gambling Health Alliance, a coalition of policymakers, NGOs and charities, call on sporting organisations to end their relationships with gambling companies, and to MPs to introduce stronger restrictions on the visibility of gambling sponsorship, especially in events where it may be seen by children and young people.
Burcu Borysik, Head of Policy at Royal Society for Public Health said:
“Sporting organisations should recognise the significant harms caused by gambling, and cut ties with gambling companies. Sport should be an enjoyable activity that promotes a healthy lifestyle, not one which promotes harmful addictive products.
MPs should use the Gambling Act Review as an opportunity to protect children and other vulnerable groups from gambling harm, by restricting the ability of gambling companies to sponsor sport.
MPs and sporting organisations should recognise that the majority of the public oppose gambling advertising in sports venues, team kits, or in digital pitch advertising.”