An EFL survey has revealed that over two thirds of supporters believe the current involvement of gambling companies in football is acceptable.

The survey, which polled more than 27,000 fans, also revealed 62 per cent of supporters held the view that the gambling industry’s involvement in football was acceptable with suitable safeguards to protect the young and problem gamblers. 

Over a 12 month period, half of the supporters that participated hadn’t placed a football bet online, whilst of those that had, the most common frequency – once a week – accounted for 13 per cent. Confirming the impact of Sky Bet’s sponsorship with the EFL, 28 per cent of those that gambled revealed that they exclusively placed bets on Sky Bet. 

The report went onto outline that while most fans appear to maintain a healthy relationship with betting, around two per cent of fans place a bet every day. This is why the EFL and its clubs continue to encourage responsible gambling. 

For a small minority of fans, they believe that these types of companies are not acceptable as sponsors. The report highlights a clear increase among older supporters, especially those aged over 65, who questioned the appropriateness of gambling partnerships.

The long term partnership between the EFL and Sky Bet has always included Responsible Gambling as a core value. Between the pair they have invested £1m over a five year period to educate clubs via the responsible gambling campaign. 

The collaboration also committed to delivering training to players and staff at all 72 Clubs during the 2018/19 season; this includes the training implemented by the UK’s leading independent gambling harm minimisation consultancy, EPIC Risk Management. 

The training seeks to give players and clubs a deeper understanding of the potential risks associated with gambling, the rules regarding betting integrity, as well as how to look out for signs of potential harm in their teammates.

The survey comes amid much pressure from the opposition government, which has vowed to introduce heightened restrictions for gambling companies when it comes to sponsorship and marketing. 

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