Children are bombarded with betting adverts on social media… by some of our top football clubs
Premier League clubs including Arsenal and Manchester City were last night accused of â€˜giving football a bad nameâ€™ for promoting gambling firms on Twitter.
Many children will be among the legions of followers amassed by the clubs on the platform.
Twitter posts from Arsenalâ€™s official account urged their 17million followers to gamble with Sportsbet.io, described as the sideâ€™s â€˜official betting partnerâ€™.
Manchester City’s Twitter account promoted odd from a betting firm before their victory in the Premier League against Manchester City
Twitter posts from Arsenalâ€™s official account urged their 17million followers to gamble with Sportsbet.io during their draw with Manchester United
Manchester Cityâ€™s official Twitter account promoted odds from betting firm Marathon Bet to the clubâ€™s nine million followers before their victory over Sheffield United on Saturday.
Newcastle United urged their 1.6million Twitter followers to guess the name of the first goalscorer for their weekend tie against Everton, with one winner receiving a Â£20 free bet with shirt sponsor Fun88.
Burnley Football Clubâ€™s Twitter account provided odds for yesterdayâ€™s match against Chelsea, promoted to more than half a million fans.Â
The clubsâ€™ tweets sparked concern among campaigners and MPs.
It is illegal for gambling firms to advertise directly to children. However, in an advertising loophole, hundreds of thousands of their online followers will be under 18.
Former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton called football’s links with gambling ‘morally wrong’Â
On Saturday, Championship club Coventry City urged fans on Twitter to bet on their derby match against Birmingham City with gambling firm BoyleSports.
Last night football legend Peter Shilton, 71, called footballâ€™s deep-rooted association with gambling â€˜morally wrongâ€™.Â
â€˜Itâ€™s all about money, money, money, but Iâ€™m sure football can survive without having to promote something like gambling,â€™ he said, adding: â€˜It is time for the Government to step in and say that itâ€™s not right.â€™
Shilton, who won a record 125 England caps, endured a 45-year addiction to gambling. Along with his wife Steph, he has launched a campaign called Shiltonâ€™s Shirt Gambling Ban to kick gambling advertising out of football.
Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chairman of the all-party parliamentary group on gambling harm, said the association with betting firms â€˜gives football a bad nameâ€™. The Government is currently reviewing gambling laws.
An Arsenal spokesman said: â€˜Our partnership with Sportsbet.io is founded on a joint commitment to promote safe and responsible gambling.Â
‘We are pleased to partner with an industry-leading organisation that takes its social and regulatory responsibility extremely seriously.â€™
A spokesman for Coventry City said: â€˜In line with English Football League guidance, the club and BoyleSports work closely to ensure that the promotion of any gambling products is conducted responsibly and in line with all appropriate licensing and regulatory guidelines.â€™
A Newcastle United spokesman declined to comment. Manchester City and Burnley were contacted for comment.