In a major responsible gambling initiative agreed as part of its sponsorship deal with the English Football League, online gambling firm Sky Bet has invested GBP 1 million in an EFL education program targeting EFL clubs and designed to improve awareness.
The marketing publication Drum reports that the EFL has signed a five-year agreement with Epic Risk Management which will provide a day’s training on gambling-related harm together with follow up counselling and support that any players require to all the 72 EFL clubs.
The programme includes new responsible gambling shirt logos that will feature on every club’s shirt from the start of next season, and will also be used for the first time in this weekend’s Play-Off Finals.
The program will receive further support through an all-media advertising campaign and at the Wembley stadium.
Drum notes that a recent Professional Players Federation survey concluded that professional sportspeople are at least three times more likely to be problem gamblers.
Richard Flint, CEO of Sky Betting and Gaming, said that Sky Bet aims to put safer gambling at the heart of its EFL sponsorship.
“By funding such a vital service for every club we want to play our part in reducing gambling related harm amongst their players and wider staff. I firmly believe that responsible operators can add value to sport through partnerships like this,” he said.
EFL chief executive, Shaun Harvey, said: “Betting in football should only serve to enhance the matchday experience and I hope that by providing our campaign with visibility at every single game that supporters will be encouraged to stay in control and gamble safely. The work that will take place with EFL clubs, players and staff alike is a hugely significant step forward and will hopefully have a positive impact on all participants in the professional game for many years to come.”