Forest Green Rovers has become the first professional football club in England to publicly call for a ban on gambling advertising and sponsorship within the sport, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The call comes amid the ongoing Government review of the 2005 Gambling Act, with gambling sponsorship in football one of the issues currently being assessed.
The League Two club, which already refuses to adopt gambling sponsorship, is now backing a blanket betting ban. The club is, however, strongly going against the English Football League (EFL), which recently suggested that such a ban would be catastrophic for the clubs involved.
Forest Green chairman Dale Vince has led calls for the ban, saying: “It's like gambling has taken over football. If you watch a game on TV you are inundated with ads - gambling logos are on almost half of Premier League shirts, and constantly flash up on pitch sideboards.
“For me, the fun already stopped. This is an abuse of football and of football fans.”
The club has joined up with the Big Step campaign, which was established to support those affected by gambling-related harm.
Founder James Grimes has welcomed the move from the football club, saying: “We're delighted to have the support of Forest Green Rovers. This is a vital moment to secure meaningful gambling reform in the UK.
“To be truly effective, shirt sponsorship, stadium promotions and other branding should not be visible during matches.”