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Grim discovery sees EFL clubs MAKING MONEY from their own fans’ gambling losses

A grim discovery was revealed this week, and it sees EFL clubs MAKING MONEY from their own fans’ gambling losses on Sky Bet.

Under an affiliate scheme that has triggered outrage, members of the EFL pocketed a percentage of losses from supporters when they placed unsuccessful wagers with competition sponsors Sky Bet.

The scheme — which MP Carolyn Harris branded as exploitation on Wednesday — was stopped at the end of the 2019-20 season, having been set up in 2013 and renewed in 2017.

However, the EFL have admitted some sides are still benefitting from it, and will do so until the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

Some of the bigger Championship sides made around £10,000 annually from the deal which saw the clubs act as middle men, sending punters Sky Bet’s direction and then picking up a percentage of the money they lost.

Fans had to click links to Sky Bet on club websites and register accounts and it’s those accounts then tracked and the club in question then picked up a share of the subsequent losses.

It remains to be seen whether Premier League or non league clubs who have or had sponsorship deals with bookmakers were subject to similar incentives.

A draft white paper which was meant to reform gambling laws has been put to one side a number of times and there are concerns new Prime Minister Liz Truss could drop it.

The Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, who wants to keep the white paper alive, told the Guardian that the deal was ‘terrible’.

‘That a football club might benefit from this runs against all that they are supposed to stand for – support for their fans, for the people who go to the ground,’ he said.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who co-chairs a cross-party parliamentary group examining gambling-related harm, added: ‘This appears to be proof that football clubs are exploiting their own fans, some of whom will be gambling addicts, by taking a cut of every penny they lose to greedy bookmakers.’

An EFL spokesperson said: ‘When the EFL and Sky Bet renewed its long-standing partnership for the 2019/20 season, we placed a greater focus on putting safer gambling at the heart of the agreement. As a result, the previous affiliate scheme was discontinued.

‘While some clubs do receive revenue from legacy sign-ups that occurred prior to the new agreement, the affiliate scheme in place was phased out and all sign-up links via EFL Digital channels have been removed.’

Accrington Stanley chairman Andy Holt tweeted his club’s digital contract with the EFL on Tuesday night to highlight his club’s income through broadcasting matches online.

The document showed the League One side didn’t receive any income from the affiliate scheme, referenced in the contract as ‘the EFL digital share of losses’, even though the EFL has a multi-million-pound deal with the gambling firm.

“I wasn’t aware there was (or is) a deal with betting companies,” Holt said. “Our income is nil and I would not let our staff encourage gambling.

“But once again, regardless of opinion on betting, this highlights the institutional bias on the part of the EFL in favour of big clubs.”

Campaign group The Big Step described the scheme, where companies encourage gamblers to bet with a particular firm for a percentage of losses, as “unacceptable”.

The EFL did not disclose how many clubs previously benefited from the deal or which clubs still received money from it.

The Big Step founder James Grimes said: “It’s unacceptable that through an unhealthy league sponsorship deal, every EFL club is forced to expose their fans to addictive gambling products in the first place, let alone take a cut of their losses.

“Many of these fans will experience devastating suffering and some will die. That clubs directly profited from inevitable harm is a game changer in the fight to end gambling sponsorship in football. No one should accept that this is normal or safe.”

This is the Twitter reaction to the grim discovery which sees EFL clubs MAKING MONEY from their own fans’ gambling losses…

@hazzafors: @dcfcofficial can you comfort you have no part in this?

@alexlai84: @Rovers does our club benefit from our fans’ losses? If it does surely this isn’t morally acceptable given our stance on a gambling sponsor?

@captainsatkins: This is so grim.

@KayakRoger: Should be immediately banned, conflict of interest

@dietmountainlu: This is absolutely disgraceful

@SupportersQpr: Football 🤝 The Gambling industry 》 Rotton to the core

@adaminthenorth: This is mind-blowing. Insidious. I sincerely hope Doncaster Rovers are not one of the clubs profiting off of fans’ gambling losses. #DRFC @drfc_official

@happinessjohn83: @LincolnCity_FC is this something we take benefit from?

@SebWassell: This is a bad, if unsurprising, look from @SkyBet and the @EFL 👎

@goalkeeperdoyle: This is an absolute disgrace. A scandal. Predatory. A government that cared about its people and that wasn’t in the pockets of the gambling lobbies would be levying huge fines and reimbursements over this. Football clubs at heart of communities? Nonsense. Disgusting

@bengreggles: Completely fucked up

@JazzHands27: How much money you made on fans’ gambling losses @crewealexfc? Grim this

@HuntTheMusic: This is fucking dark. Really dark. Presume it’s only a matter of time before EA give clubs a cut of their fans FIFA pack purchases.

@DickoPFC: If this is true then I demand that the ‘new’ Milton End is renamed the DickoPFC End thanks to my significant contribution….

@FanaticFulham: This is how deeply entrenched this gambling cancer is in our game

@georgiebless: This is absolutely repulsive by the way. Fuck modern football 🤢

@The1898PFC: I sincerely hope Portsmouth Football Club do not benefit from this.

@DMCG1991: That is horrible. Football’s gone to shit.

@Alexander_Lean: @CardiffCityFC I swear to god you better not be

@JakebwfcHurst: What the fuck

@SPFLWatch: Sickening, Disgraceful behaviour.

@ScouseCouncil: Holly shit, what a horrible deal. Need to get gambling clubs out of football

@MickCollins22: Utterly vile this. Clubs don’t give a shit about the fans

@LoftforWords: Would be very interested to see QPR’s equivalent of this…

@RBKgreens: This is astonishing. It’s bad enough that betting companies sponsor so much in football, but for clubs, at the heart of their communities, to profit from their fans’ misery and losses is appalling

@Rob4481587: This is sick. @StevenageFC what’s your line on this?

@jamescrossan8: This is absolutely disgraceful – get gambling companies out of football ASAP🤢

@DannyTracey_: If this is true, this is disgusting. I can see gambling companies going the same way as tobacco companies in terms of sports advertising….

@KTics90: In a game that’s already rife with way too betting companies regarding sponsorships. Now you see clubs also profiting on people losing money?? When does enough become enough??

@cylertarter: Would never happen in the Coca-Cola or nPower

@Craigeth1: This is fucking grim but I don’t even know why I’m surprised anymore

@Mikoo1998: I really hope #GTFC aren’t profiting off of the losses of their fans

@supersonic1974: Really? Do you profit from fans gambling losses @StevenageFC?

@TrailOfDebt: Holy shit, this is incredibly grim. As a fan of a non-EFL club, I’d be interested to know if such a deal exists between the National League and Unibet? Can you sign up for affiliate accounts there?

@scottgeeeeeee: That is grim as fuck

@PompeyChimes90: Uh-oh… you’ve been outed! Disgraceful. More power to the people, this stuff can’t stay hidden forever. Well done Accy for standing up for what you believe in.

@PompeyViking62: Good grief this surely cannot be true. Utterly abhorrent behaviour if this is how it works.

@SxPFC_: Clubs can profit from people losing money on bets and we’re supposed to believe there’s no match fixing 👀

@Bluearmypfc_: Absolutely horrendous, this. Gambling should never sponsor football clubs in any guise, but this is incredibly insidious and dangerous

@joestephens128: Bring back Coca-Cola or Npower

@daveydave1: @BurnleyOfficial earning a share of fans’ gambling losses with sky bet?

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