A recent poll, conducted by BMG Research, has found significant support for preventing betting companies from sponsoring football matches and teams.

The results follow the widely-reported ban on Premier League footballer Joey Barton.

On 26th April Barton was banned for 18 months after it was revealed he had placed 1,260 bets on football matches during a ten-year period.

Although he accepted responsibility for breaking the FA’s rules, which forbid any professional footballer from places bets on football matches, he criticised the FA for not addressing the culture of betting surrounding the sport.

In a statement posted on his website, he said: “Surely they [the FA] need to accept there is a huge clash between their rules and the culture that surrounds the modern game, where anyone who watches follows football on TV or in the stadia is bombarded by marketing, advertising and sponsorship by betting companies, and where much of the coverage now, on Sky for example, is intertwined with the broadcasters’ own gambling interests.

“That all means this is not an easy environment in which to try to stop gambling, or even to encourage people within the sport that betting is wrong. It is like asking a recovering alcoholic to spend all his time in a pub or a brewery.

“If the FA is serious about tackling gambling I would urge it to reconsider its own dependence on the gambling industry. I say that knowing that every time I pull on my team’s shirt, I am advertising a betting company.”

When we asked the public whether they felt banning companies should be allowed to advertise so widely in the sport, it was revealed that the majority (41%) agreed with Barton.

However, the poll also found there considerable support remains (57%) for a continued ban on professional footballers being allowed to bet on the beautiful game.

Fieldwork dates, methodology and a full breakdown of these results can be found here.

For a more detailed breakdown of results from this poll or any other results from our polling series, please get in touch by email or phone.



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