Bolton Wanderers cut betting links amid community efforts

WANDERERS have announced they will no longer provide any on-site betting at the UniBol or enter into any new commercial partnerships and sponsorships with firms representing the gambling industry.

The club say they will now look to support charities and organisations which aim to provide help for those suffering from gambling addiction.

Chairman Sharon Brittan said: “Problem gambling ruins lives and we’ve taken this stance to show our support for those who are suffering from a betting addiction.

“Latest research shows that there are between 340,000 and 1.4 million adult gambling addicts in the UK and over 60,000 young people aged between 11 and 16 are addicted.

“We as an industry must do more and through our work with Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Bolton Wanderers Football Club will support outreach programmes for those who experience gambling problems.”

Additionally, Bolton Wanderers in the Community – the club’s official charity – are launching ‘Team Talk’ in partnership with Bolton Council to provide a “safe space” to talk for men.

The project is open to men over the age of 18 and will offer mental health support in a relaxed setting.

Wanderers CEO Neil Hart added: “We recognise that some people do want to bet and also that the league has a commercial partnership with a gambling company in place – and we are respectful of this.

"However, we will not take part in any activity to promote gambling outside the existing EFL contractual requirements.

“This means that we will not provide match day betting kiosks or enter into any new agreements with gambling companies.

“In the spirit of transparency the club does operate a club lottery which allows supporters to take part on a match-by-match or monthly basis with all this fundraising income supporting club-related good causes and supporter engagement projects. We will continue to provide this support for our local community and our amazing supporters.

“As a club which is at the heart of our community, we want to support those who are suffering as a consequence of gambling addiction.”

The club has also partnered with Bolton-based charity Whysup, which aims to raise awareness on addiction and mental health.

Whysup co-director Mark Murray said: “We are delighted to be working in partnership with our hometown club, on what is a very important issue. I know first-hand the impact that gambling related harm can have on a person’s wellbeing.

"I suffered from a gambling addiction for 13 years and have had to work hard to turn my life around. Reaching out and asking for help can be a huge step and a lifesaving one.”

If you are struggling with any of the issues discussed in this article, you can book a support call with Whysup here.

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