Addressing the relationship between gambling and professional football in England: a response to Smith et al. ‘Gambling, sports psychiatry, and disciplinary sanctions in English professional football’ [soccer & society 25, no. 1 (2024): 140–143]

Abstract

Our commentary article continues the discussion recently initiated by Smith et al. on the relationship between gambling and professional football in England. In their vital contribution to Soccer and Society, they argue that a reconsideration of the relationship between football and gambling is required, highlighting the importance of prevention schemes of gambling harms for athletes, and maintaining the integrity of football. We respond by arguing that a reconsideration of the relationship between English football and gambling must go further to reduce the risk of harms to all stakeholders. The expansive, neo-liberal nature of the gambling market has rendered gambling omnipresent within English football, with the volume of gambling-related marketing in the game giving rise to concerns of harms which could be experienced by stakeholders. A full reconsideration of the harmful intersections between football and gambling would involve a significant change in regulation at societal level, thus protecting stakeholders and maintaining integrity

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