A group of prestigious institutions in the UK will conduct ground-breaking study into the suspected connections between gambling sponsorships and their effects on public health. This research project, titled “Unraveling the Link: Revisiting ‘Addictive’ Sport Sponsorship in British History,” has received major financing from the Welcome Institute totaling £1.6 million.
The University of Nottingham, the University of Glasgow, and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have joined forces for this groundbreaking research project. Examining the complex links between gambling sponsorships and their impacts on different facets of society, especially public health, is their shared goal.
Prompted by Perceived Shortcomings
This study was motivated by the belief that a recent white paper did not effectively address the intricate problem of sponsorships in the context of professional sports. The provisions of the white paper, according to critics, didn’t adequately handle the complex issues related to sponsorships. As a result, the “Unraveling the Link” project seeks to determine if further reforms are necessary.
Many had assumed that the white paper would advocate for a broad ban on gambling-related ads. However, lawmakers were persuaded to reevaluate such regulations when the Premier League voluntarily decided to discontinue front-of-shirt sponsorships. As a result, over the course of a decade, our project will conduct a thorough analysis of the complex web of ties between the gambling business and professional sports. It will also examine previous connections between athletic leagues and businesses like alcohol and cigarettes.
The main goal of this study project is to clarify the connections between the sports industry and industries linked to potentially addictive goods, as well as how these connections affect public health in the United Kingdom. The forthcoming publication of research findings is likely to spark more discussion on the future of sponsorships in the country.
The academics working on this large study stress how crucial historical context is. Professor Anna Greenwood, an expert in health history at the University of Nottingham, expressed her enthusiasm for the project and emphasized how it will shed light on the significant role that historical examples have played in influencing current attitudes toward sports sponsorship by industries that are associated with health risks.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine’s Alex Mold, an associate professor of history, highlights the differences between alcohol, tobacco, and gambling while also pointing out the dangers associated with excessive use of these substances. In order to understand why and how these businesses continue to have an impact on society today, the research intends to look into their historical history.
The prevalence of gambling sponsorships in contemporary sports was emphasized by Heather Wardle, a professor of gambling research and policy at the University of Glasgow and co-director of Gambling Research Glasgow. She underlined the significance of comprehending the driving forces behind these sponsorships, which are now seen as “the new normal.”
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