Premier League Called Out by NHS
by Glenn Baird - September 6, 2018
The Premier League has been told by Simon Stevens, the head of the National Health Service in England, that it needs to do more to protect those suffering from gambling addiction.
Stevens said that that problem gambling is one of the “new threats” that the NHS are having to deal with. He went on to say that betting companies are not doing enough to help those who are suffering the most.
Mr Stevens has stated that the NHS will be speaking to the Premier League and asking them to work with sponsors connected to the gambling industry and persuade them to “do the right thing”.
Mr Stevens said: “There is an increasing link between problem gambling and stress, depression and other mental health problems.
“Doctors report that two thirds of problem gamblers get worse without help and the NHS does offer specialist treatment.
“But reports that foreign gambling companies are failing to play their part in co-funding help for addicts are deeply concerning.
“Taxpayers and the NHS should not be left to pick up the pieces – the health of the nation is everyone’s responsibility.
“The NHS will now work with the Premier League on how we persuade these foreign gambling companies to do the right thing.”
Stevens mentions “foreign gambling companies” because they do not contribute to the “Gamble Aware” charity that British firms currently donate to.
Of the 9 teams in the league currently sponsored by gambling firms there are 2 who have betting companies from outside of the UK on their strips; Newcastle United and Everton.
A spokeswoman for Gamble Aware said it welcomed the speech by Mr Stevens.
“With nearly half the clubs in the Premier League, and over two thirds of the Championship League sponsored by gambling companies, we are seriously concerned the relationship between sport and gambling has reached a tipping point.
“We would like to see all clubs, leagues, and broadcasters who profit from gambling work with us to help fund treatment for this hidden addiction.”