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Opinion

Time to stop gambling at St James Park in Newcastle United family section

1 month ago
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As many of you will know, the discussion in regards to gambling sponsorship of footballs clubs has continued to be a big topic in recent years.

In fact, it has become so much of a topic, that in the last few years it has became against the rules for football tips to have betting sponsorship on children’s shirts.

A rule which our very own NUFC broke when the Newcastle United under 18s played in shirts featuring our sponsors Fun88.

The story doesn’t end there though.

Many betting companies agreed to not show betting advertisements during matches, which in reality is just at half time, in order to look good and clean up their image.

Paddy Power have went a little further than this by sponsoring various clubs shirts, and not having their logo on them, although this was done after they had Huddersfield Town play in a friendly with a huge PP sash across their shirt in order to grab attention, which the club were later fined for due to how big the advert (sash) had been.

Despite the efforts of the betting companies to clean up their image, it is fair to say that gambling does ruin a lot of lives, not just for those with addiction, but for their family and friends as well.

It is also fair to say that this is the reason why there continues to be so much of a debate around gambling within football.

Although I’m not adverse to responsible gambling and have made football bets myself, I am adverse to the level of gambling sponsorship seen in football. Once again let down by NUFC when they entered an agreement with Fun88.

It is for this reason that I have thought of how NUFC can assist in the fight against widespread gambling sponsorship and this is my idea of how they can do it.

The family area is situated in Level 7 and the official ticket rules from NUFC state that an adult is not allowed to sit in this area unless they are with at least one child.

If this is adhered too (though I have seen exceptions…), then everyone in this section is either too young to gamble, or taking care of someone who is too young to be gambling.

It is at this point where I ask, is it wise for an adult to be showing that gambling is a part of the match day experience to a child?

Is it wise for children and teenagers to see people making bets, losing bets, and the various odds advertised?

I myself think the answer is a firm no.

As result of asking myself this questions, I now think that it is time for NUFC and other football clubs to ban gambling booths inside their family areas.

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