Forest Green Rovers calls for a ban on gambling sponsorship

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Green energy entrepreneur Dale Vince has been involved with Forest Green Rovers since 2010

Forest Green Rovers became the first professional club in England to seek a sponsorship ban on gambling.

A ban is being discussed as part of the 2005 revision of the gambling law which is expected to be completed by this fall.

The English Football League has opposed a ban, with President Rick Parry telling BBC Sport it will cost EFL clubs £ 40million per season and some could go bankrupt.

“I believe that gambling in football is an abuse of football and the supporters,” said Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince.

“The game has overtaken football. If you watch a game on TV you are inundated with commercials. For me, the fun has already stopped,” he added.

Eight of the 20 Premier League teams have gaming sponsorships on their shirts, and 10 of the 24 in the league.

But there are many other partnerships between clubs and betting companies that include advertising on social media and on forums around the pitch, while the EFL is also sponsored by Sky Bet.

League 2 Tranmere Rovers president Mark Palios has previously questioned the need for gambling sponsorship in football, saying clubs could survive without it.

Non-league Lewes FC, which plays in the Premier League of the Isthmian League, have also said gambling sponsorship should be banned in football.

Forest Green has partnered with Big Step, which is part of the Gambling with Lives charity, which provides support to families who have lost love affairs due to their betting addiction.

James Grimes of The Big Step said: “We are delighted to have the support of Forest Green Rovers. Our outdated gambling laws need to change, especially with the exponential rise of online gambling.

“Sponsorship of sporting events by tobacco companies is prohibited and we believe the game should be the same.

“To be truly effective, shirt sponsorship, stadium promotions and any other branding should not be visible during matches.”



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