Edinburgh City FC have announced they are supporting our campaign to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football.
In doing so, they have become the first Scottish football club to call for a ban on gambling adverts in football, joining their English counterparts Billericay, Lewes and Forest Green Rovers
Alongside football clubs, our campaign has won the support of several MPs, including Ronnie Cowan and Margaret Ferrier of the Scottish National Party, together with Labour’s Carolyn Harris, Paul Blomfield, Zarah Sultana and Dawn Butler.
You can add your name to our petition here.
Jim Brown, chairman of Edinburgh City FC, said:
“We decided it was time to adopt an ethical approach to all our partnerships; the pandemic has shown just how much football has the potential to be an immense power for good, so it makes sense to us to reinforce only positive messages both for physical and mental health. We are delighted to support The Big Step in their campaign as we share the same core value of trying to change the existing reliance on gambling in Scottish football.”
Gambling advertising is rife in Scottish football, with both the country’s top teams, Rangers and Celtic, sponsored by gambling companies. Until recently, the Scottish League Cup and the Scottish Premiership were sponsored by William Hill and Ladbrokes respectively.
Edinburgh City FC’s support comes at a time when pressure is mounting on the Government to make tangible changes to existing legislation during their current review of the 2005 Gambling Act. The results of the review are due by the end of the year.
James Grimes, Founder of the Big Step and formerly addicted to gambling said:
“We are thrilled to have the support of Edinburgh City during a pivotal time for gambling reform in this county. For most of us involved with the Big Step, the harmful relationship between gambling and football was the gateway for years of addiction – if only our clubs had taken this stance, things may have been different for us.
“Football doesn’t promote tobacco because of the health risks – it’s now time more for more clubs to replicate ECFC’s commendable stance on advertising gambling which is risking the health of millions of young fans.”