Our ‘temperature test’ consultation with members about a possible partnership with a betting company is going live!
Trust members who are on email should have this afternoon (Friday 8 March) received an email from us setting out the proposal and outlining the next steps of our consultation.
The email for them to vote will be sent out tomorrow morning (Saturday 9 March).
Trust members who have requested to receive electronic communications from us but haven’t received the email or don’t receive the one tomorrow should check their junk folders.
Members who receive their communications by letter can still get involved by coming to the Dons Trust kiosk before the matches against Doncaster Rovers (Saturday 9 March) and Peterborough United (Tuesday 12 March) to read about the proposal and cast a paper vote.
If you know a Dons Trust member who’s offline, please let them know – we want as many Trust members as possible to take part!
We should stress that this isn’t a formal Trust vote but an indicative ‘temperature test’ to help the Trust board make a decision about what can be a contentious area of sponsorship.
2 cents from a US based AFCW fan who is an iFollow subscriber but not a DT member –
Easy to see how many UK dons don’t see a problem with adding a prominent betting sponsor. Gambling has totally invaded UK sports. It is totally inescapable. Here in the US, we have a very different relationship with gambling – there are essentially no sports gambling ads. Very stark difference.
While adding a gambling sponsorship for a team in the Sky Bet league might seem like nothing compared to all the other pro-gambling activity, I hope the board considers its role in the overt promotion of gambling – including to children. Gambling addiction/problem gambling is a growing issue in British society, and it’s because nobody cares about the social consequences of taking the money when it’s legal to do so.
If nothing else – they’re only sponsoring you because they know your fans are going to bet and lose.
I would be upset if gambling became a part of the AFCW culture. I know I’d never buy a shirt with a gambling logo on it.
Thank you for sharing Shawn, if you’re on the AFCW Facebook group, other fans may be interested in your views on there too?
For those not on it – A copy of a post I made on the AFCW FB site earlier
Afraid that this is going to be a pretty long post.
However – such an important issue, and so important that we each think really carefully before entering into a deal with a gambling company. Accepting money from any third party goes to our values – what we stand for as individuals and as a club.
At one level the club can make some money (though it’s not at all clear how much – more on that in a separate post perhaps). Clearly – at its most basic level, the more money we have, the more “success” we buy on the pitch. However, when we receive money it raises the issue of whether we care where it comes from.
I think it’s pretty clear that most of us would not want our club to receive money that came from the proceeds of criminal activity (for example human trafficking or fraud). Put another way, we’d rather play football in a lower league than benefit from tainted money.
So the principle is clear – where money comes from that funds our club does matter. The issue is then – when considering a potential source of money – are we happy as to where the money on offer will come from?
So – moving on to gambling. Before deciding to accept money from a gambling company we need to be content with the way that gambling companies make money before passing it on to us. If we enter a deal with a gambling company, any money we get will come to us directly as a result of that gambling company’s marketing & business activities.
I suspect we’ve all seen newspaper & other articles setting out facts as to the type of harm that gambling does. But before entering in to a deal with a gambling company it’s important to remind ourselves of some of those statistics ( i.e. the reality about the people who place bets that we would be making money from), for example:
– There are 430,000 adult gambling addicts in the UK, with a further 2 million “at risk”
– 55,000 young people aged 11-16 are addicted to gambling.
– Research has shown that 4-11% of suicides are related to gambling (equivalent to 250-650 UK deaths per year).
– Gambling addicts are 3-4 times more likely to attempt to kill themselves than other types of addict.
Behind each one of the numbers on those statistics is a ruined life. The list could go on.
I’ve always been passionate about the harm that gambling does. Whilst it might be a bit of innocent fun for many, it ruins lives for too many others. And those others are disproportionately young, poor and vulnerable members of our community. The very people that we need to protect.
When I remember the young guy at work who jumped from the top floor of the office I work in & committed suicide due to online gambling debts; When I regularly speak to a member of my family who works with people (nearly always in low paid jobs or unemployed) who are struggling with debt –often as a result of gambling – I get still more angry about the profits made from gambling. Even more so when I see my football club proposing to make money from a deal with a gambling company.
You wont’ be surprised to read that I’m voting against the proposed deal.
Personally I want nothing to do with earning money from an activity which does such damage to society generally, and young & vulnerable people in particular.
I hope that the vast majority of Don’s Trust members will feel the same way. Clearly we each need to make our own decisions. However, for anyone thinking voting in favour of the deal then please do this with your eyes open – how the money that will come to the club will be made, and the harm that will almost inevitably be done to people (in this instance, our own supporters, our own young people, our own fans already struggling on low incomes & with debt) as a consequence.