GambleAware has announced the launch of a brand-new campaign ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
According to the British-based charity, the new campaign will “ensure fans are protected during the ongoing cost of living crisis and significant hype around the international tournament”.
GambleAware has partnered with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) for the campaign to raise awareness of the early warning signs of gambling harms.
The two organisations will also offer fans practical advice on how to enjoy the World Cup without experiencing “Bet Regret” – the “sinking feeling” many people experience after placing an impulsive bet.
As part of the campaign’s launch, GambleAware has released a new film featuring former football Peter Shilton in which the star delivers a “team talk”.
The launch of the campaign comes after a study found that six in ten football fans (Around 61%) agree that there are too many gambling ads during the World Cup and other international tournaments, and after nearly three in ten (Around 28%) admitted to feeling anxious about how much they may lose while betting during the event.
GambleAware has stated that 43% of football fans are planning to bet during this year’s World Cup, and this, the charity has said, combined with the steep rise of living costs, can create a “perfect storm” that increases gambling and potential harm.
Zoe Osmond, the Chief Executive of GambleAware, said in a statement: “This should be an enjoyable time for all football fans, but with the sheer volume of football and the amount of betting ads, it can be easy to get carried away with betting – and we can see that many fans are already feeling anxious about this.
“As the cost of living crisis bites and people feel the pinch in the run-up to Christmas, this could create a ‘perfect storm’ where fans resort to gambling as a way to cope. This can have the opposite effect, both financially and in terms of mental health.”
Osmond continued: “There are lots of ways to avoid ‘Bet Regret’ – the sinking feeling you get after making a bet you wish you hadn’t – from deleting apps, to setting a limit. These steps can help fans enjoy the football this winter without feeling stress or anxiety around gambling.”
Gambling Minister Paul Scully commented: “I welcome this campaign from GambleAware to help raise awareness of practical actions people can take to avoid gambling-related harms. We are undertaking the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years to ensure they are fit for the digital age, including considering the evidence on gambling advertising and marketing.”
Former professional footballer Peter Shilton added: “I had a gambling addiction for 45 years. This addiction not only took a massive toll on me financially, but on my mental well-being. If it wasn’t for my wonderful wife, Steph, for her support, I don’t know where I would be today.
“I’ve seen first-hand how easy it can be to get carried away and place an impulsive bet, especially when betting promotions are all around you. I’d urge everyone to stop and think, is my gambling out of control? If so, reach out for support.”