English football club Bolton Wanderers has severed all ties with gambling companies and will instead seek to support charities and organizations that help those suffering from gambling addiction.
The League One club will no longer provide betting on the University of Bolton Stadium, nor will it enter into new commercial partnerships or sponsorships with gaming or betting operators.
The decision comes amid a potentially important period for football in the UK, with the government reportedly considering banning betting companies from sponsoring football shirts as part of its review of the Gambling Act 2005. 2005).
Bolton Wanderers will support entities that help people with gambling problems
“Problem gambling is life-destroying and we take this stance to show our support for those suffering from gambling addiction. The latest surveys show that there are between 340,000 and 1.4 million adults addicted to games in the UK, and more than 60,000 young people between the ages of 11 and 16 are addicted,” said Bolton Wanderers President Sharon Brittan.
Brittan added: “We as an industry must do more and through our work with Bolton Wanderers in the community, Bolton Wanderers Football Club will support assistance programs for those who have problems with gambling.”
The club also stressed that while respecting the commercial partnerships of the English Football League (EFL) and other clubs, its position on the offer of betting and sponsorship of bookmakers “is now clear”. The EFL is currently sponsored by Sky Bet, which operates in the sports betting industry.
Bolton Wanderers CEO Neil Hart said: “We recognize that some people want to gamble and also that the league has a commercial partnership with a gaming company – and we respect that.”
Hart concluded: “However, we will not participate in any activities to promote games outside of the existing contractual requirements of the EFL.”