THREE football clubs have pledged to stand against gambling advertising in football and are calling for more clubs to join.

Seaford Town FC, Newhaven FC, as well as Peacehaven and Telscombe FC have joined a growing list of clubs across the country that are supporting the charity campaign, which aims to put an end to all gambling advertising.

The three clubs showing their support for the campaign now means that four teams in Sussex have made the pledge, with Lewes FC the first team in the county to back the campaign in 2019.

The campaign, which is run by The Big Step, aims to reduce gambling-related harm in the UK by “tackling the escalating influx of gambling advertisement in football.”

The charity want to put more pressure on the government as it reviews the Gambling Act, which will have an outcome in the new year.

The review of the 2005 Gambling Act sets out whether the current act is “effective and whether further protections are needed” for vulnerable people and to prevent exploitation “from the potentially life ruining effects of gambling-related harm.”

Tom Webster, chairman of Seaford Town FC, said he is “proud” the club is committing to the campaign and added that he knows people personally who have been through gambling harm.

The Argus: Lewes FC have supported the movement since 2019Lewes FC have supported the movement since 2019

He said: “The advertising of gambling in football has been noticeably getting more extreme. While I believe people should have the freedom to gamble if they so choose, I believe the relationship between the advertising of it and its close association with football is unhealthy.

“We are all well aware of the damage that gambling can cause to people and their families, as well as its effects on mental health and male suicide. I’m proud that as a club Seaford Town FC has committed to The Big Step’s campaign, and we will be doing everything we can to support them.”

The Big Step is part of Gambling With Lives which was set up by the families of people who have committed suicide as a “direct result” of gambling. All the people in the charity have had problems with gambling in the past.

While there is a growing number of professional clubs pledging to support the campaign, such as Luton Town FC, the charity wants a Premier League club to take a stance again gambling advertising.

James Grimes, founder of The Big Step and a former gambling addict, said it is important to put pressure on the government.

He said: “Having all four teams so close gives us the opportunity to do something with all of them.

“What that has meant for us, is we see there is equal value in bringing clubs with us along the way and building up a ground swell movement really, starting with the lower leagues.

The Argus: The group has been campaigning to pressure the government ahead of the 2005 Gambling Act reviewThe group has been campaigning to pressure the government ahead of the 2005 Gambling Act review

“More and more clubs will start to say no and eventually it will be a domino effect where there will eventually be a handful of clubs. That is our vision.

“Some people argue that football needs this money, but you have four clubs here who are non-league and don’t need this money.”

For more information on The Big Step, visit their website.

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