Premier League clubs such as West Ham and Stoke City have been put in the spotlight for their use of junior players to promote sponsors including Betway and Bet365.
Gambling accounts for over 40% of the income from perimeter sales in the Football League and almost half of the shirt sponsorships in the Premier league.
It’s a relationship that has come under scrutiny, with the Labour party pledging to outlaw gambling advertising in football,
Now, a Sunday Times investigation has found that school-aged players and junior fan clubs are being used by some Premier League clubs to promote gambling and betting sponsors ,while other clubs are advertising betting sites to junior fans.
In response to the exposé, West Ham and Stoke City have removed pictures from their websites showing under-18s with gambling ads while Swansea City has removed its gambling sponsor Letou from the Junior Jacks section of its website.
Recently, a BBC investigation into the preponderance of gambling adverts during live football broadcasts found that 95% of ad breaks across BT Sport, Sky Sports and ITV feature at least one commercial from the gambling industry.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and The Gambling Commission have urged gambling sites have to remove ads that are likely to appeal to children as part of a joint clampdown.