Zoe Osmund, GambleAware
Zoë Osmond, GambleAware CEO

GambleAware addresses World Cup gambling harm in latest ‘Bet Regret’ campaign

GambleAware has launched a new version of its long-running ‘Bet Regret’ campaign, targeting potential problem gamblers ahead of the FIFA World Cup.

Citing current economic conditions, the charity predicts that the cost-of-living crisis and ‘significant hype’ around the tournament will create a ‘perfect storm’ for problem gambling and associated harm.

The group has also cited the recent findings of a Opinium survey, conducted on behalf of GambleAware, which found that some football fans have concerns around betting advertising and their own gambling habits during the World Cup. Copyright: fifg / 123RF Stock Photo

Zoë Osmond, Chief Executive of GambleAware, said: “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.” 

The aforementioned study found that 61% of football fans believe that there were too many gambling adverts during international tournaments.

A further 28% said that they were ‘feeling anxious about how much they might lose’ during the World Cup, whilst GambleAware also noted that 39% of respondents said that financial pressure may compel them to gamble over the next two months.

In the newest edition of its campaign encouraging consumers to avoid ‘Bet Regret’, the video features a man with a prominent England national team tattoo on his arm, which includes a poor drawing of a lion which a passer-by observes looks more like a Labrador.

Comparing making risky betting decisions and the feeling of regret afterwards to fans who may get ‘carried away’ during the hype of the World Cup in other ways, the charity encourages bettors: “Anyone could get carried away this tournament. Whatever regrets you might have, don’t let gambling be one of them.”

Osmund 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.”

As part of pre-World Cup preparations, GambleAware has partnered with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and former footballers such as Peter Shilton to raise awareness of gambling-related harm.

The charity has also gained the support of media outlets and broadcasters such as Sky, BT, ITV and Channel 4, which have donated £1.5m of free advertising inventory, noting that almost £1.5bn has been spent on marketing by betting firms since 2017.

GambleAware has also noted, however, that the industry has implemented a whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertising and commits at least 20% of TV and radio advertising to safer gambling messaging.

Paul Scully MP, newly appointed DCMS Gambling Minister, said: “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.”

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