Top-tier English soccer outfit Crystal Palace have become the first Premier League side to partner with the GambleAware charity.
The two parties will work together to produce advertisements and promotion materials to raise awareness among players and fans about the risks of gambling. The campaign, which will take place during the final three games of the 2017/18 season, will lead to messages being displayed on the perimeter of the pitch and on screens at the South London-based club’s Selhurst Park stadium.
Palace are one of nine Premier League teams currently sponsored by a betting company, with ManBetX coming on board ahead of the current campaign.
England’s Football Association (FA) has tightened its gambling regulations in recent times, and last year terminated its deal with Ladbrokes after deciding that it was no longer appropriate to have a betting partner when its rules forbid anyone professionally involved in the sport from gambling on soccer.
The decision came shortly after the governing body banned English midfielder Joey Barton from the game for 18 months, after he was charged with placing 1,260 bets on matches between 26th March 2006 and 13th May 2016.
“As a Premier League club, we recognise our responsibility of helping promote safe and responsible gambling,” said Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish. “I’m pleased that Crystal Palace are the first club to form a partnership with GambleAware, and I hope we can play a part in raising awareness about their service, and help those individuals who need support.”
“This is an important first step towards a deeper and broader action plan to address the ever-closer relationship between gambling and football,” added GambleAware chief executive Marc Etches. “As the first professional football club to make this commitment, Crystal Palace is setting a great example to other clubs, and not only those with gambling sponsors because all benefit from the income that flows from television deals funded by the ever-growing amount of gambling advertising around live sport.”
News of the partnership came ahead of Crystal Palace’s narrow 3-2 win over rivals Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday, taking the Eagles six points clear of the relegation places.