Gambling Logos found in Children’s Football Magazines
by Glenn Baird - December 17, 2020
Children’s football magazines, like “Match” and “Footy” have been dealt some firm criticism for their inclusion of gambling brands via football tops in the pages of their magazines.
Direct gambling advertising is not allowed in any medium aimed at children or young people, but a loophole does appear to have been found, whether consciously or not through the inclusion of football strips that have those logos on them.
Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, spotted 52 logos in the May 2019 issue of the 68-page magazine, alongside 38 images in January this year and 37 in March 2019.
Along with magazines, logos can also be found on Panini stickers.
The study’s leading writer, Dr Natalie Djohari, said: “Advertising Standards Agency guidelines say that it is the responsibility of marketers to ensure children are not exposed to gambling advertising.”
“But a football player emblazoned with a logo, even when it is intended to sell products to adult consumers, has their photo refracted multiple times onto football cards, stickers, magazines and other merchandise.
“In this way, gambling logos very quickly become visible throughout the football-related worlds of child fans.”
Dr Gavin Weston, a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Goldsmiths, added: “Children might not have the experience or critical faculties to understand the significance of a gambling company’s logo or to be wary of the appeal of products that have addictive qualities.
“But latest figures from the Gambling Commission show 55,000 children have a gambling problem.
“While more research is needed to understand how young fans interpret gambling branding on their heroes’ shirts, more immediately, policy makers and magazine publishers need to consider how the visibility of gambling logos can be reduced in products marketed to children.”
BBC’s Match of the Day magazine spoke to The Mail Online via a spokesperson: “Like other football magazines, MOTD magazine features images of teams and football players as they are shown widely across all other forms of media.
“We do not endorse gambling or betting companies in any way.”
Marvin Sordell is a former England u21 internationalist. He spoke out about how easy he felt it was for young footballers to become addicted to gambling:
“Football players have a huge amount of free time but they are only allowed to spend it in specific ways. There’s only so many things you can do indoors at home and gaming is a massive part of that.
“Gambling is very much ingrained in the culture of football like a lot of other things. I played with players who would be on their phones checking scores and bets from the minute they get in in the morning to the minute they leave training.
“I think how that has probably changed with the younger generations is that a lot of it is now geared towards gaming.
“If you take the likes of FIFA, you get really hooked in things like Ultimate Team and purchasing add-ons. I was a person at that young age who got into a habit of just playing to open these packs (loot boxes) because of the hit of dopamine you get from getting one of the big players – or something else exciting.
“You just want to replicate that and before you know it, you’re spending a lot of money on what is essentially gambling. It’s definitely something that needs to be looked at and addressed.”
Whilst it might not be possible to avoid all form of gambling related advertising it is possible to deny yourself access the product that they are selling. For anyone looking to make that first step who wants to gain back some control over their gambling addiction BetBlocker is an app that can be installed on mobile devices, PCs and laptops that denies you access to thousands of gambling sites.
BetBlocker is a registered charity in the UK and, as such it is completely free to install on as many devices as you want.
To learn more you can visit the BetBlocker website.