Footballers Wore Yellow for Gambling Advert Ban

British footballers have this weekend participated in their first on-pitch protest against the harmful effects of gambling, with more than 100 players in support of the ban on advertising by bookmakers.

Players in the FA Cup, the Women’s Championship, the Scottish Women’s Premier League Cup and non-league matches were also wearing yellow laces to pressure the government to take the right action.

The League One side Forest Green also participated in the protest during their FA Cup first-round tie at South Shields. The club’s owner Dale Vince has said that the club is proud to support this initiative which is being organised by the pressure group The Big Step.

“Gambling companies are exploiting football and football fans, making huge profits at the expense of people’s lives,” Vince said. “Their overwhelming presence in our national sport is hyper-normalising an addictive product with only self-regulation to protect the millions of young fans exposed. This is something Forest Green Rovers stands against.

“We will proudly wear yellow laces this weekend to reinforce our support for the campaign to end all gambling advertising in football.”

Glasgow City, Lewis Women and men’s non-league sides Billericay Town, Dulwich Hamlet, Headingley AFC and Llantwit Major, amongst others, were also wearing yellow laces supporting this ban.

Furthermore, League Two Tranmere warmed up in yellow t-shirts before the team’s FA cup first-round match against Carlisle.

Premier League clubs are yet to vote on whether they will adopt a voluntary gambling shirt sponsorship bad after the government has once again delayed publishing its white paper on gambling regulation. The English Football League has said that clubs are expected to lose £40m a year if a gambling advertising bad was to be introduced and it wants its gambling partner relationships to be socially responsible.

Even so, some clubs are still receiving a direct cut of gamblers’ losses as part of a now-discontinued scheme with a leading online casino.

The Big Step is calling for an end to gambling advertising and sponsorship in football. The main concern is that the sport is exposing viewers, as well as young fans, to more than 700 gambling-related messages during a single televised Premier League match.

A recent research project by the UK Gambling Commission has shown that while the levels of participation in gambling have remained somewhat stable over the past year, the number of persons aged between 16 to 24 years old has, in fact, dwindled.