Bolton Wanderers FC pledges to support Against the Odds

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Published

18th October 2022

Bolton Wanderers Football Club and Bolton Wanderers in the Community have pledged their support to our brand-new campaign – Against the Odds – calling for an end to gambling sponsorship and advertising in sport.

In Greater Manchester, sport is central to the region’s culture, heritage and identity and plays a huge role in bringing communities together. Unfortunately, there has been a proliferation of gambling sponsorship and advertising in sport which is reinforcing a perception that betting is a normal part of watching sport.

The Against the Odds campaign aims to shine a light on the prevalence of gambling marketing in sport and spark a movement across all levels of the sporting pyramid in Greater Manchester in support of phasing out gambling sponsorship and advertising to protect children, young people, and vulnerable adults.

By signing up to the Against the Odds Charter, Bolton Wanderers FC and Bolton Wanderers in the Community will provide much-needed leadership across the sports sector sending a clear signal to other clubs about their duty of care towards their fans and the need to reconsider existing relationships with gambling operators.

According to research, gambling logos can appear more than 700 times in a single football match – equal to more than six logos per minute. These logos appear on shirts, on training apparel, on perimeter advertising, behind dugouts and on press backdrops.

It is estimated that around 1 in 200 people in Greater Manchester (around 14,000 adults) are experiencing severe gambling harms. That’s more people than you can squeeze inside Boundary Park – the home of Oldham Athletic.

A further 3.8% of the population are at low or moderate risk of gambling harms. This equates to over 96,000 adults in Greater Manchester – more than the combined capacity of Manchester City’s Etihad stadium (55,097), Old Trafford Cricket Ground (26,000) and Sale Sharks’ AJ Bell Stadium (12,000).

When the harms experienced by children, friends, family, and communities are considered, one in 15 Greater Manchester residents are experiencing the negative impacts of gambling – enough to fill Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium two and a half times over.

Gambling-related harms are inherently complex and individualised and can have a significant impact on finances, relationships, and health, as well as generating feelings of shame, stigma, and helplessness. Harms include poor wellbeing, anxiety, depression, debt, financial hardship, relationships breakdown, chronic stress, and suicide.

The Against the Odds campaign, will continue to engage sports clubs both big and small across Greater Manchester to raise awareness of gambling-related harms and the positive role they can play in reducing the prevalence of gambling sponsorship and advertising in sport.

 

Bolton Wanderers Chairman Sharon Brittan said:

“Gambling addiction can have a devastating effect on individuals and their families and communities, and that’s why Bolton Wanderers Football Club is pledging our formal support of the pioneering Against the Odds campaign by signing their charter.

“Last year, we made the decision to close the on-site betting facilities at the University of Bolton Stadium and committed to not enter into any new commercial partnerships or sponsorships with firms representing the gambling industry.

​​“As a club with are proud of the role we play in our community and, along with Bolton Wanderers in the Community, we will continue to be a driving force in supporting the health and well-being of all the residents of our town.”

 

Michael Viggars, Project Manager at Healthy Stadia and Campaign Lead for Against the Odds:

“A huge congratulations to Bolton Wanderers FC and Bolton Wanderers in the Community for embracing the Against the Odds campaign and pioneering a future for sport that is free from gambling sponsorship and advertising.

“The gambling industry often talks about “gambling responsibly” but with every square inch of sports stadia being sold to advertise dozens of different sports betting brands it’s no wonder that we’re seeing more and more people suffering from gambling-related harms.

“With Bolton Wanderers leading the way in Greater Manchester and nationally, we believe we can start a movement to end gambling sponsorship in sport and prevent thousands of fans and their families from experiencing harm. We are Against the Odds and we need the support of clubs big and small right across Greater Manchester.”

 

James Grimes, Head of Education and The Big Step, Gambling with Lives:

“Although I’m not originally from Greater Manchester, this city changed my life when I moved here in 2018 weeks into recovery from a twelve-year gambling addiction and so it really does mean the world to see the Against the Odds charter launch. The positive impact will be that people like me can go and watch sport in Manchester without being encouraged to do that thing that destroyed our lives.

“Future generations will thank the clubs involved for committing to this stance – they are on the right side of history. On behalf of The Big Step and the community of people harmed by gambling, I thank and applaud Healthy Stadia, GMCA and the clubs involved for putting people before profit.”

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