The Big Step campaign, an initiative created by the Gambling With Lives charity, has received support from the League Two football team Forest Green Rovers.
Gambling with Lives was created to support the families of people who have died due to betting-related suicides. The organization also aims to raise awareness of the mental health dangers of the practice among gamblers, their friends and family and health professionals.
Neuroscience evidence shows that gambling on electronic devices is creating a hard-to-shake addiction, especially in young people. The industry heavyweights have found ways to attract and keep the youth in an unending betting cycle through ‘free bets’ and other giveaways.
This ultimately leads to mental health problems and suicidal thoughts, taking away a huge part of the next generation’s future.
How Big Step Is Fighting Gambling in Football
There are approximately 55 different sponsorship deals with 44 clubs in England’s two top divisions. Matches on TV are heavily flooded with advertisements from betting corporations, be it on the players’ shirts or on pitch sideboards.
A huge youth population watching their teams play every week are unconsciously influenced into the destructive habit by this aggressive marketing strategy.
Big Step is hoping to end all advertising and sponsorship by the gambling companies in football. It aims to do this by starting awareness programs and delivering community awareness.
Bringing the problem to light is then expected to persuade authorities in the game and in government to take the appropriate steps to stop this menace.
The support of football clubs, like the Forest Green Rovers, and other stakeholders in the sport will go a long way into making the initiative’s dream a reality.