General Article Named and shamed: the A-listers – and football clubs – making millions from online gambling’s misery

Topic Selected: Gambling Book Volume: 420

Adverts for betting firms have become commonplace in football and campaigners fear a Government u-turn could leave young fans at risk.

By Peter Stanford

It was seeing the names of betting companies on the shirts of the Tottenham Hotspur players he idolised as a teenager that first got James Grimes into gambling. That and the firms’ logos all round the ground when he went there on Saturdays.

‘It normalised it for me,’ says the former addict whose campaign, The Big Step, aims to sever the link between football and the gambling industry. ‘It corrupts the minds of young people’.

Recent reports suggest that the Government is poised to back down on its promises to take what Grimes says would be a major step towards achieving that goal. Leaks from its plan for reducing the damage done by gambling addiction indicate that it will fall short of a ban on gambling firms sponsoring the shirts of major football teams. Instead a voluntary scheme is mooted.

Why it matters, allege campaigners like G...

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