Over 20,000 Sign Petition Opposing Everton Gambling Sponsorship Deal

Opposition to Everton’s sponsorship deal with stake.com continues to grow. Over 20,000 people have signed a petition protesting having the name of a gambling company on the front of the Everton shirts next season.

The decision to have stake.com as their sponsors came days after the club managed to avoid relegation to the Championship. It was a surprising deal considering previous statements made by the club. They had that having a gambling-related sponsor was “not ideal.” However, their current financial situation has led to a change of opinion.

The past three seasons has seen the club lose £372 million, plus a lot more Premier League games than they’d hoped for. Russia invading Ukraine wasn’t good news for them either.

Sanctions were placed on Alisher Usmanov and the sponsorship deals the club had with his company USM were suspended. The invasion has also affected their deals with Yota and Megafon.

With the club in the process of building a new stadium, they are obviously keen to improve their finances. Their accountants must have breathed a sigh of relief when the club finally secured their place in the 2022/23 Premier League.

There are examples of clubs ditching their gambling sponsorship. Preston North End decided not to renew such a deal after fans spoke out against such deals. Crystal Palace have just ended their gambling sponsorship deal and will be sponsored by Cazoo rather than W88 next season.

Ben Melvin is an Everton season ticket holder and has had been addicted to gambling for many years. He was dismayed at news of the new deal signed by the Premier League club. That led to him starting the petition and believes Everton shouldn’t be sponsored by “harmful products.”

Commenting on the sponsorship deal he said: “The partnership does not sit right with the club’s motto, the standards the club sets off the pitch and the fantastic work done by the club’s Everton In The Community in tackling mental health issues.

Mr Melvin had no idea that so many people would sign his petition. However, he isn’t confident the deal will be halted. What he does want though is for the club to “know how many people have signed it and understand how some fans feel.”

The time will eventually come this year when the UK government unfold their plans to review the 2005 Gambling Act. It’s believed that gambling sponsorship will get a mention. There have been rumours though that rather than ordering clubs to end deals, they will hope for a voluntary agreement to end gambling sponsorship deals.

That might not be an easy task though. The Premier League and English Football League (who are sponsored by Sky Bet) state that no evidence exists that shows a causal link between problem gambling and sponsorship deals with betting companies.