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Victim’s Mother Appeals to WSL to Avoid Gambling Firm Deals

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A woman whose daughter committed suicide after struggling with a gambling addiction has called upon the UK’s Women’s Super League (WSL) to avoid making deals with gambling firms.

Kimberley Wadsworth took her own life in 2018 after struggling with gambling addiction. Her mother, Kay, has written an open letter urging the WSL not to use the excuse of growing the game for taking “bloodied cash”.

Open Letter a Response to Review into Women’s Football

The letter was written in response to the publication of an independent review into women’s football. The review was commissioned by the government and led by Karen Carney; it calls for a significant boost in investment in order to “raise minimum standards.”

Dear Women’s Super League, It’s wonderful the World Cup is giving women’s football the platform it deserves on the world stage. And with that, the increased profile will rightly come more opportunities for commercial partnerships. You deserve it. But I want to make a heartfelt plea to England women’s football not to go the same way as the men’s game and be swamped with gambling partnerships. Please don’t go down this path. The Lionesses have inspired a generation of young fans. There’s more dignity in valuing the wellbeing of these girls and boys with their whole lives ahead of them than there is in taking bloodied cash from a gambling firm.

Kay Wadsworth Mother of Gambling Victim

Kimberly Wadsworth was both a user of fixed-odds betting terminals and a member of bookmakers’ VIP schemes, which have been linked to an increased risk of problem gambling. Since her death, her mother has been calling for an end to VIP schemes and a complete ban on gambling advertising.

Televised Football Gives Gambling Firms Huge Exposure

A recent study found that televised football is still a huge platform for gambling advertising, with 3,522 betting logos displayed over the course of a Premier League match between West Ham and Chelsea. Premier League teams have agreed to end front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling firms from 2026; however, other forms of advertising will still be allowed.

A spokesperson for the Football Association said, “We made a clear decision to end our relationship with gambling companies in 2017, and this policy is currently supported by the Women’s Super League and the Women’s Championship, who have no association with gambling partners.”

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