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Ben Hayes - Charlton Athletic programme

Should clubs accept sponsorship from betting companies?


It's far from unusual for football clubs to accept sponsorship from betting companies.  Four Premier League clubs do.  However, the news that Betdaq are to replace the University of Greenwich on Charlton's shirts has sparked some controversy.

In part, this is because the current Belgian owner and chief executive at the club are deeply unpopular. Charlton fans have produced their own spoof version of the shirt (above).  Some Charlton fans have pointed out that betting is legal and a matter of personal choice.

However, there are concerns about those who become addicted to gambling and lose large sums of money.  Admittedly, much of the criticism has been concentrated on fixed odd betting terminals which are to be found in betting shops.

Punters lost £12.6bn in the UK in the 12 months to September 2015.   Between April 2014 and March 2015 the figure was £11.2bn.   Online gambling has become more important with £3.6bn lost.   The industry would, of course, argue that it supports responsible gambling and that it is increasing its funding for responsible gambling measures.