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AFC Wimbledon Shows Support For The Big Step Campaign

The leading English professional soccer club based in Merton, London, AFC Wimbledon, announced its support for The Big Step, a campaign by the leading charity Gambling with Lives that calls to end all gambling advertising in soccer. With its recent decision, the soccer club joins a growing list of teams that have already vowed their support for the campaign.

In fact, AFC Wimbledon became the 35th club to support The Big Step campaign. Its decision follows a vote that received overwhelming support from 79% of its 1,199 participating members. Moreover, AFC Wimbledon has taken the decision after discussing the topic with members of The Dons Trust as well. Supporting The Big Step, the club joins the likes of Bolton Wanderers, Luton Town, Tranmere Rovers and Forest Green Rovers, who have also joined the initiative against gambling advertising.

AFC Wimbledon’s decision comes at a time when major changes are planned for the regulated gambling sector in the UK. Despite hopes, the review of the Gambling Act in the country did not touch on this topic but rather focused on other important changes for the gambling industry.

Yet, the Premier League confirmed earlier this year that it plans to phase out front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships over the next few years. Clubs and gambling operators were given a notice period with the change expected to come into effect starting with the 2026/27 season.

Despite the planned voluntary front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship ban, fears about an increase in gambling addictions continue to grow. In that line of thought, a recent study uncovered that during the opening weekend of the Premier League season in August, sports fans were subject to a staggering 11,000 gambling messages.

Gambling with Lives Is Excited to Receive Support from AFC Wimbledon Michele Little, Dons Trust’s board member, confirmed that an ongoing goal for the club is to serve communities and be “a force for good.” She praised the club’s decision to repeal sponsorships and advertising from gambling operators. “Now with the backing of our owners – the fans – we’re signing up to The Big Step and saying that it’s time to end the harm that gambling advertising in football causes,” explained Little in conclusion.

“We’re thrilled to have the backing of Wimbledon and their owners – the fans. Gambling advertising is unhealthy and unpopular so the Club’s decision is welcome good news, following the sharp rise in high-profile players harmed by gambling.“

Tom Fleming, communications manager at Gambling with Lives and The Big Step Tom Fleming, Gambling with Lives and The Big Step’s communications manager, said that it is exciting to see AFC Wimbledon support the initiative that fights against gambling advertising. Calling the collaboration good news, he spoke about the negative impact of gambling advertising. Finally, Fleming said that the charity continues to hope that the government will implement changes to the sector, ensuring the protection of sports fans.

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