The Big Step

The Big Step is a campaign to end all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, led by people harmed by gambling.

In early 2019, James Grimes approached Gambling with Lives with the idea of walking between football clubs that had gambling sponsors to raise awareness of the harmful relationship between them. James had a 12-year gambling addiction and football played a big role in his addiction.   

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gambling logos can appear during a single televised match

Football & gambling

All too often, football is the ‘hook’ that draws first-time gamblers in, many of whom are then cross-sold highly dangerous – and addictive – products, such as online casino games.  

During the 2021–2022 Premier League season, just one team was without a betting sponsor or partner. Consequently, a gambling brand is visible on Match of the Day up to 89 per cent of the time.

Gambling with Lives, The Big Step, campaigners reach Wembley Stadium, England, after walking from Scotland
In 2021, over 30 people harmed by gambling walked all the way from Scotland to Wembley Stadium.

What we do

Together, we held our first event in June 2019 and nearly three years – and many more walks – later, The Big Step is a leading campaign and an integral part of Gambling with Lives. 

Our petition, which we handed into 10 Downing Street in 2021, has been signed thousands of times and we’ve been part of hundreds of pieces of high-profile media coverage.  

Removing gambling logos from football shirts would be a ‘big step’ and a significant acceptance of the harm caused, but it wouldn’t go far enough. We are calling for an end to gambling adverts in stadiums and through the online presence of clubs, as well as a ban on gambling sponsorship of competitions.