National self-exclusion service GAMSTOP has made its debut partnership with an English Premier League club, forming an agreement with Crystal Palace FC.
As a result of the deal, the top tier team will share information about GAMSTOP’s services across its social media channels, including both the men’s and women’s teams, as well as donating advertising space at its Selhurst Park home ground.
Additionally, GAMSTOP will provide free training to explain how its service can help vulnerable people within the community in the Eagles’ South London home.
“Crystal Palace’s support will be hugely beneficial in ensuring that people who could benefit from using GAMSTOP are aware of the scheme,” said Fiona Palmer, CEO of GAMSTOP.
“The pandemic has led to increased sign-ups and we are trying to ensure that anybody who is struggling with their gambling, or has a loved one experiencing problems, knows where they can access support.
“The support of Crystal Palace will help us extend our reach and we hope that other Premier League and women’s clubs will follow their example.”
In a statement on the team’s website, the club encouraged users ‘to seek professional help and support from treatment providers’, as well as to utilising other tools such as blocking software and bank blocking to prevent harmful gambling habits.
Steve Parish, Chairman of Crystal Palace, added: “We are delighted to be helping to raise awareness of this important service. Whilst most people who gamble on football do so to enhance their enjoyment of the sport, GAMSTOP gives anyone experiencing problems with their gambling a chance to regain control.”
Emphasising its commitment to ‘encouraging its supporters to gamble safely’, Crystal Palace referenced the club’s 2018 agreement with BeGambleAware, the first such agreement to take place in the Premier League.
The announcement comes at a time when the relationship between professional sports and betting faces increasing scrutiny from both the political and public spheres, as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) conducts its review into the 2005 Gambling Act.
Several Premier League clubs held a meeting last Thursday to discuss the collaboration between the two sectors, with a particular focus on shirt sponsorships by betting operators.
Over 195,000 people are currently registered with GAMSTOP across the UK, with monthly sign-ups rising in 2021, attributed to an increase in online gambling ‘during lockdown’.
It was reported by GAMSTOP earlier this year that over 55,000 women had registered to self-exclude from gambling sites, with the service noting a rise in numbers since the start of COVID-19 lockdowns in 2020.