League One club Bolton Wanderers will remove betting kiosks from their stadium and stop all dealings with gambling companies. The club in the English third tier will only allow involvement from the Football League (EFL) betting sponsors moving forward. Currently, the EFL has Sky Bet as its commercial partner.
Bolton released a statement on Thursday confirming that all gambling-related activities outside those they are contractually part of will be suspended.
Bolton, a former Premier League club, mentioned they will not enter any new commercial partnerships with companies inside the gambling industry.
Chairman Sharon Brittan added context to the decision taken by the club’s executive board.
“Gambling ruins lives and we’ve taken this stance to show our support for those who are suffering from a betting addiction,” Brittan said.
“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,” the official revealed, adding that Bolton will be part of support programs for gambling addicts.
“We as an industry must do more and through our work with Bolton Wanderers in the Community, Bolton Wanderers Football Club will support outreach programs for those who experience gambling problems.”
Bolton Wanderers is currently eighth in the League One standings, with 12 points from eight games. They sit two points behind the promotion play-off places.
Bolton battled financial problems in the past but managed to become a stable club once more. They are now pushing for a place in the Championship, the second tier of English football.
By cutting the money pipeline that the gambling industry represents, Bolton shuts the door to one of the biggest providers in world football nowadays.
No fewer than nine Premier Leagues clubs are currently inside sponsorship contracts with companies representing the industry. Bolton’s current shirt sponsor is Home Bargains, a discount store with a 45-year tradition.
“We will not take part in any activity to promote gambling outside the existing EFL contractual requirements,” Bolton chief executive Neil Hart assured.
“This means that we will not provide match-day betting kiosks or enter into any new agreements with gambling companies,” he stressed.
“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,” Hart said.