CAMPAIGNERS are calling for an end to all gambling advertising and sponsorship in football, in a move which could impact on both Rangers and Celtic.

Activists are to walk between Edinburgh and Glasgow on February 11.

More than 40 people affected by gambling, including recovering addicts and their families, are to take part in the 60-mile march, which will end at Hampden Park.

The event is organised by The Big Step, an organisation set up by a former gambling addict who now wants to end the betting industry’s involvement with football.

Online betting site Dafabet is a current Celtic shirt sponsor, while Old Firm rivals Rangers has the logo of the 32Red online casino firm on its shirts.

Glasgow Times: Rangers' Glen Kamara (right) and Celtic's Georgios Giakoumakis battle for the ball during the cinch Premiership match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. Picture date: Wednesday February 2, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should

The marchers will visit both clubs when in Glasgow on February 13, before finishing their march at Scotland's national stadium.

Participant Kelly Field said her online gambling addiction was “fuelled by a relentless barrage of advertising”.

She said: “At my worst, I wasn’t eating or drinking properly – I felt suicidal at times and would gamble in the bathroom in secret.”

She added: “Advertising and sponsorship, in football and elsewhere, makes people think that gambling is totally normal and safe, when the reality is very different.

“Gambling kills and football must stop promoting it. I know of people who have taken their own life when they couldn’t see any other way out.”

James Grimes, who founded The Big Step after being addicted to gambling for 12 years, said the organisation’s latest event “comes as we stand at a crucial moment”.

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The walk will also see campaigners visit a number of other clubs, meet their representatives and also with some elected politicians.

Starting in Edinburgh, marchers will visit both Hibernian FC and city rivals Hearts, before heading on to other clubs including Livingston, Motherwell, and Hamilton Academical.

The UK Government is reviewing the 2005 Gambling Act, with some rumours suggesting this could see betting firms banned from shirt sponsorship in the English Premier League.

But The Big Step wants ministers to go further than this and end the promotion of gambling across all levels of football within the UK.

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Mr Grimes said: “Decision-makers must put the health of young fans first and end all gambling ads in football.

“If they don’t, we encourage every club and governing body in Scotland – including the ones we are visiting on this walk – to be brave and to ban gambling sponsorship and advertising before the government makes the decision for them.”

He added: “We applaud Scottish football’s recent move away from gambling sponsorship of competitions, but much more must be done. This a unique chance to be on the right side of history and we hope fans will help their club make this decision.”

The UK Government received more than 16,000 responses to its call for evidence as part of the review of the Gambling Act, with a White Paper setting out the findings and proposals from this expected to be published in the “coming months”.

A spokeswoman from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said: “We are committed to protecting people at risk of gambling-related harm and are undertaking the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years to ensure they are fit for the digital age.

“We are determined to protect vulnerable people at risk of harm while giving adults the freedom to choose how to gamble safely.”