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Football and gambling go hand in hand; when there’s a live sporting event on, even the law on gambling adverts before the watershed are thrown out the window. Simon Stevens, the head of NHS England is hoping that the English Premier League football clubs will do more than they currently are, to tackle gambling addiction…
…Describing gambling addiction as the new threat facing the NHS, Mr Stevens has said that the company will be contacting the EPL, to make sure that the gambling companies that sponsor the football clubs, do the right thing as some betting companies are ‘failing to play their part’ when it comes to funding services to treat gamblers – something he said was ‘deeply concerning.’
It’s estimated that as many as 430,000 people across the UK have a gambling problem.
Gamble Aware is a charity that treats addicts and betting companies who profit substantially from the gambling industry, have been encouraged to donate money to this very worthy cause (to the tune of £10m a year), but with the number of overseas gambling companies sponsoring Premier League clubs on the rise (which could be online casinos as well as sportsbook sites), it would seem that they are not familiar with the UK way of doing things and have not donated to Gamble Aware this financial year.
Mr Stevens speaking from the Health and Care Innovation Expo in Manchester expressed his feelings clearly; "There is an increasing link between problem gambling and stress, depression and other mental health problems. Doctors report that two thirds of problem gamblers get worse without help and the NHS does offer specialist treatment. But reports that foreign gambling companies are failing to play their part in co-funding help for addicts are deeply concerning. Taxpayers and the NHS should not be left to pick up the pieces - the health of the nation is everyone's responsibility. The NHS will now work with the Premier League on how we persuade these foreign gambling companies to do the right thing. The NHS needs to get more serious about aspects of prevention in public health, including what you might call the new public health.”
Gamble Aware agreed with Mr Stevens and added their comments: "With nearly half the clubs in the Premier League, and over two thirds of the Championship League sponsored by gambling companies, we are seriously concerned the relationship between sport and gambling has reached a tipping point. There is a real risk gambling advertising and sponsorships are normalising gambling for children. We would like to see all clubs, leagues, and broadcasters who profit from gambling work with us to help fund treatment for this hidden addiction."
Source: “NHS chief calls for Premier League clubs to tackle gambling addiction” https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-45421443. BBC. September 5, 2018.