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Neighbouring clubs unite for gambling ad ban in football

Neighbouring clubs Lewes FC, Seaford Town FC, Newhaven FC and Peacehaven and Telscombe FC have taken a united stance against gambling advertising in football. All four clubs have announced their support for our campaign to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in the game.

Tom Webster, Chairman at Seaford Town FC said: 

“The advertising of gambling in football has been noticeably getting more extreme. Whilst I believe people should have the freedom to gamble if they so choose, I believe the relationship between the advertising of it and its close association with football is unhealthy. We are all well aware of the damage that gambling can cause to people and their families, as well as its effects on mental health and male suicide. I’m proud that as a club Seaford Town FC has committed to The Big Step’s campaign, and we will be doing everything we can to support them.”

The three clubs join a growing list of clubs to back our campaign, including Tranmere Rovers AFC, Luton Town, Forest Green Rovers, Billericay Town, Edinburgh City and Dulwich Hamlet. 

John Peel, Director at Lewes FC said: 

“We’re delighted that these three clubs, all local to us, have decided to back The Big Step. It demonstrates the unity and strength of feeling across the football pyramid against the saturation of gambling advertising in football and that it has no place in our sport.”

As we at The Big Step know all too well, football is so often the ‘hook’ that starts years of addiction. Tragically, there are an estimated 250–650 gambling-related suicides in the UK each year, with people suffering from gambling disorder up to 15 times more likely to take their own lives than members of the general population. There are between 430,000 and 1.2 million people addicted to gambling in the UK.

Martin Garry, Chairman at Newhaven FC said: 

“Newhaven FC fully supports this campaign. Having witnessed the first-hand damage that gambling can do to both physical and mental health at an early age, the sooner this is tackled the better. The level of education needs to step up to save many victims and families from this addiction. The club has recently embarked on an education programme to support this.”

James Grimes, who was once addicted to gambling and is the founder of The Big Step, added:

“It’s fantastic to see these three clubs unite and take a stand again gambling advertising in the game. We encourage every club in the country to do the same, and we are campaigning hard to ensure the government puts young people first by ending gambling advertising and sponsorship in football through legislation.” 

Our campaign has already won the support of several MPs, including Ronnie Cowan of the Scottish National Party, together with Labour’s Paul Blomfield, Zarah Sultana and Dawn Butler. 

The three clubs’ 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 in the coming months.