A report issued by the Church of Scotland calls for a ban on gambling adverts.
Published before the Commonwealth Games, the report concludes that British gambling laws should ban ads that promote betting, games of chance or payday loan companies.
The actual sports event has no such companies among their partners, but Heart the Midlothian Football Club is sponsored by payday loan company Wonga and the Rangers has just announced a new partnership with online and mobile casino 32Red.
“The normalization of gambling has been proven to have a damaging effect on the lives of thousands across Scotland,” the document reads. “Some may see our stance as radical but we believe it is necessary to improve the quality of life for people living in this country.”
Ban ads to prevent harmful gambling?
Titled “Striving Together: Celebrating Competitiveness in Sport”, the Church report asks for more measures to prevent “harmful gambling” but encourages chaplaincy to support professional sports.
“We urge the Scottish and UK Governments and sporting bodies to implement measures designed to reduce hazardous and harmful gambling and to impose a ban on advertising gambling in the context of sports,” said Reverend Sally Foster-Fulton, convener of the church and society council.
Regarding the report, a Scottish Government spokeswoman stated: “Like the Church of Scotland, we commend the Commonwealth Games Organizing Committee for valuing equality and encourage it in fulfilling its aim for equality for all.
“We believe this is something all sports should aspire to do including through the advertising sponsors it chooses to work with.”