Burnley FC; Commit to removing gambling sponsorship from club shirts.

Burnley FC; Commit to removing gambling sponsorship from club shirts.

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Gail Barton started this petition to Burnley Football Club

My daughter recently became the proud owner of a signed Burnley FC shirt.

I’m afraid I’m not a proud parent.

For the last few years, our home team, along with half the Premiership teams, have been sponsored by a gambling company.

If you buy a child’s shirt, it doesn’t have the gambling logo on it; that’s illegal. But what good is that, when a child is seeing all the adult shirts around them, promoting gambling as a normal activity?

Gambling sponsorship in sport has been growing exponentially since 2005, when the rules were relaxed so that gambling could become a self-regulating industry. That sounds a bad idea to start, but it’s worse now, as at the time we had no idea that the technology online gambling companies adopt would become so manipulative. Research shows that when you’re losing, these companies use algorithms in their software to incentivise you to gamble more, targeting the most vulnerable in our society. These unethical practices are rife in an industry that desperately needs to be properly regulated.

Studies have identified that gambling addiction affects 1% of the population. That’s almost ¾ of a million people in the UK! And the evidence suggests that problems with gambling often begin in childhood. The Gambling Commission estimates that the UK has 450,000 11 to 16-year olds who are gambling regularly, with 55,000 of these children already having a serious gambling problem.

What’s more, research stretching back decades demonstrates that gambling addiction is a factor in up to 10% of all suicides. It’s hard to escape the publicity we’ve seen in recent years citing that men account for three quarters of all suicides. And last year we saw a sharp rise in the numbers of people taking their own lives; as many as 650 deaths in 2018 are predicted to have a gambling connection.

While LoveBet sponsorship contributes to Burnley FC finances this year, how much money are they taking out of our local community? I’m gambling it’s a LOT MORE than they put in. Even though LoveBet are an Asian company, their European operations are based in Malta, renowned as a tax haven. Meaning their profits contribute very little to the UK. Yet Burnley is one of the most deprived areas of the country, with many fans finding themselves in financial difficulties. Does this sound like a suitable target audience to you?

Burnley FC in the Community do excellent work locally to support residents with a range of difficulties. But by choosing to promote companies like LoveBet, are Burnley FC actually contributing to the issues they work hard to eradicate?

Please, Burnley Football Club, commit to promoting the health and wellbeing of your fans, and make the choice that in future, gambling sponsorship has no place on your shirts.

Thank you

https://www.theguardian.com/football/2018/jul/30/campaigners-concerned-championship-efl-clubs-sponsored-betting 

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/2016/11/30/450000-children-gambling-every-week-commission-warns/

https://www.gamblingwithlives.org/

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