England – It is reported that The Football Association, the governing body of association football in England, refused permission to allow GambleAware, an independent charity commissioning prevention and treatment services to keep people safe from gambling, to film at its football stadium in London; Wembley Stadium.
The charity approached the English FA for use of its iconic stadium, which is home of the England national football team, to film and promote its gambling addiction campaign; ‘Bet Regret’.
GambleAware made the approach after believing that the stadium, which is such an important part of gambling in England through its football associations, would make the ideal location for filming.
However, The Football Association rejected the offer because ‘it did not want any association with gambling at all’.
Marc Etches, chief executive officer at GambleAware commented:
“With the Bet Regret campaign we wanted to film at Wembley and they didn’t want to accommodate that there because they had said they wanted to make sure they put some distance between them and gambling. Despite the fact that the Bet Regret campaign was about trying to ensure people thought carefully about their gambling, particularly if they’re bored, drunk or chasing losses. I would have preferred to have more of a conversation about it.”
Etches elaborated on the importance of a relationship between the charity, football and betting in the future:
“The Premier League hasn’t yet reached out to us. If football is going to continue to have shared sponsorship and this clear, very strong commercial relationship with gambling, then I think they need, as we all do, to accept our share of responsibility of ensuring that it’s a safe environment for everybody, but particularly with the mind on young people and the influence that a lot of this will bring on young people as they grow older.”
“We know that those who experience a lifetime of suffering with gambling disorder, being addicted to gambling, it most often would have started when they were young.”