GambleAware, the largest gambling charity in the United Kingdom, has announced a new safer gambling campaign they launched aimed towards protecting football fans ahead of and during the FIFA World Cup, saying that the tournament might create a "perfect storm" for gambling harm.
The charity has teamed up with the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and many former football players for a new campaign to raise awareness of the early warning signs of gambling-related harm.
As part of the initiative, GambleAware will offer advice on how to enjoy the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 tournament without experiencing "Bet Regret", a feeling punters may experience after making an impulsive bet.
GambleAware chief executive Zoë Osmond said:
"This should be an enjoyable time for all football fans, but with the sheer volume of football and the amount of betting ads, it can be easy to get carried away with betting - and we can see that many fans are already feeling anxious about this.
As the cost of living-crisis bites and people feel the pinch in the run-up to Christmas, this could create a ‘perfect storm' where fans resort to gambling as a way to cope. This can have the opposite effect, both financially and in terms of mental health.
There are lots of ways to avoid ‘Bet Regret' - the sinking feeling you get after making a bet you wish you hadn't - from deleting apps, to setting a limit. These steps can help fans enjoy the football this winter without feeling stress or anxiety around gambling."
Newly-appointed Gambling Minister Paul Scully has endorsed the initiative, and commended it for "practical actions people can take to avoid gambling-related harms."
Declaration of Gambling Regulators on the FIFA World Cup 2022
As the FIFA World Cup 2022 starts, the gambling regulators of France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and Great Britain has issued a declaration, saying that they will also promote awareness of the risks around gambling harm as well as increase their social media activity to promote safer gambling.
"This weekend will see the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
We recognize that this is one of the world's largest and most high-profile tournaments and is therefore likely to see an increase in betting activity. As regulators, we have a key role in ensuring that consumers are protected throughout the tournament.
Working closely together during this period, we are committed to monitoring the gambling market, ensuring advertising, betting integrity and consumer protection regulations are followed by gambling operators. Throughout the tournament in Qatar, that will mean increased cross-border cooperation, particularly through the exchange of information, expertise and best practice.
In order to improve awareness of the risks around gambling harm, during the tournament we will also be increasing our activity on social media to promote how people can gamble safely."