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Forest Green Rovers call for gambling sponsorship ban in UK

Forest Green Rovers have become the first professional club in England to call for a gambling sponsorship ban.

A ban is currently being debated as part of the 2005 Gambling Act review which should be completed by this autumn.

The English Football League (EFL) has opposed a ban, with chairman Rick Parry claiming it would cost EFL clubs £40m a season and could see some go under.

"I believe gambling in football is an abuse of football and of fans," said Forest Green Rovers owner Dale Vince.

"Gambling has overtaken football. If you watch a game on TV you are inundated with adverts. For me, the fun has already stopped," he added.

Eight of 20 Premier League teams have gambling sponsorships on their shirts, and 10 of 24 in the Championship.

Forest Green have teamed up with the Big Step, part of the charity Gambling with Lives, which offers support to families who have lost loves ones because of betting addiction.

James Grimes of the Big Step said: "We're delighted to have the support of Forest Green Rovers. Our outdated gambling laws need to change, especially with the exponential rise of online gambling.

"Sponsorship of sporting events by tobacco companies is banned and we believe gambling should be the same.

"To be truly effective, shirt sponsorship, stadium promotions and other branding should not be visible during matches."

Author: Jake Wilkin