A pro-gambling group has demanded a ban on betting ads during the postponed Euro 2020 tournament.
Big Step, a campaign project created by people affected by gambling-related injuries, has sent a letter to the UK's leading commercial broadcasters asking them to suspend all Euro 2020-based gambling marketing for the duration of the competition.
The letter is addressed to ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, Sky Sports, BT Sport, talkSPORT and leading podcast providers and was signed by MP Caroline Harris and MP Ronnie Cowan, Chair and Vice Chair of the All Party Parliament. Gambling Harm Group.
The letter was also supported by Christina Marriott, CEO of the Royal Society of Public Health, and Louise Mason, Senior Head of Policy and Communications at the Gambling Health Alliance.
It says: “The tournament is long overdue and after a difficult time for the country, fans should be able to enjoy it without interrupting gambling advertising, especially given the pressure of the pandemic.
“While we support the right of adults to bet if they so choose, gambling advertising does not benefit public health and contributes to harm, but it is almost impossible to watch or listen to football without being exposed to it.”
The redesigned Euro 2020 tournament kicks off in June and is expected to be a big event for bookmakers this summer after they missed a major event on last year's sports calendar due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last week, Big Step announced a partnership with Forest Green Rovers, which became the first professional football club in England to call for a gambling sponsorship ban.
The Big Step was founded by James Grimes and launched in 2019 as a fundraising event to raise awareness of gambling addiction and its connection to football.
Grimes said, “I started Big Step as a recovering gambling addict who was addicted to football betting.
“I love this game with a passion, but we cannot let its destructive association with gambling advertising continue,” he added.