VC Holdings, the parent company of Ladbrokes, announced last Friday that it will be removing many of their sponsorship assets for the 2019/20 football season, donating them instead to GambleAware’s ‘Bet Regret’ campaign.
The Scottish and English Professional Football League kicked off last weekend, but where the Ladbrokes logo would have previously sat on many of the assets for all clubs taking part, including interview backdrops, static and LED boards, it will now be replaced by the Bet Regret campaign logo.
The unprecedented move is an attempt to encourage football fans to moderate their betting behaviour and avoid the sinking feeling bettors often get when they make an impulsive bet, particularly when bored, chasing losses or drunk, according to an official news release.
It’s not just Scotland that will see this donation, with a number of English clubs who have GVC companies as commercial partners replacing gambling promotion with Bet Regret messaging, including Sunderland, West Bromwich Albion, Burnley, Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United. In total 42 clubs will be donating their sponsorship assets to GambleAware.
Sponsorship, and in particular gambling sponsorship, has never been more prevalent in football. In England, more than half of Premier League clubs are now sponsored by a betting firm and 17 of 24 Championship clubs.
Targeted at an audience estimated at 2.4 million young men aged 16-34 who gamble regularly on sport, and of which 87% regularly watch football, the ‘Bet Regret’ campaign was launched earlier this year. The campaign is centred around raising awareness of three risky behaviours – betting whilst bored, drunk or chasing losses. 63% of this target audience believe that there are too many opportunities to bet nowadays, whist around 2 million adults suffer some level of harm related to gambling, including 340,000 that are problem gamblers.
Marc Etches, Chief Executive Officer for GambleAware, stated: “We are delighted that GVC Holdings has made this move to support the Bet Regret campaign. With the number of opportunities to bet and exposure to messages associated with gambling being so prevalent in football, it’s incredibly important that football fans think twice about betting when drunk, bored or chasing losses.”
Patrick Kerr, Director of Safer Gambling at GVC Holdings, said: “Whilst we want football fans to be able to enjoy a bet, we recognise the importance of doing this in a safe, responsible way. Handing over this valuable inventory to GambleAware is a demonstration that we are committed to helping our customers bet in a safe and responsible way, and we look forward to continuing to promote the Bet Regret campaign in the future to help increase awareness about safer gambling.”