Football fans received 11,000 gambling messages in Premier League opening weekend

Logo The GuardianThe Guardian
2023-09-18 23:01:42  • 5 mins

Football fans were bombarded with 11,000 gambling messages during the opening weekend of the latest Premier League season, according to a study that warns of overwhelming and inescapable betting imagery in the game.

Clubs in the top flight agreed earlier this year to ban gambling firms from sponsoring the front of players shirts from 2025, but the research which analysed social media posts alongside hours of TV and radio cast doubt on the likely effect of that measure, given the saturation of football with other gambling messages.

The report, commissioned by 5 News from the Bristol Hub for Gambling Harms Research, raised several key concerns including:

  • the sheer volume of gambling messages;
  • social media content not clearly labelled as ads; and
  • insufficient safer gambling messaging.

Across six live matches broadcast on TV over the seasons opening weekend, the 11 to 14 August, viewers were shown 6,966 gambling messages, including logos on shirts, pitchside hoardings and commercial breaks. Of those, only a fifth were accompanied by a message supporting safer gambling, according to the study.

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