League Two outfit joins Luton Town and three other EFL sides in taking a stand against gambling sponsorship in football
AFC Wimbledon have become the latest English Football League (EFL) club to join The Big Step Campaign.
The League Two side have signed up to the Gambling with Lives scheme in which football clubs take a stand against gambling sponsorship in football.
The Dons become the 35th club to joins the campaign, with the London outfit consulting with members of The Dons Trust, the supporters’ organisation that owns the club.
A total of 79% of the 1,199 participating members backed the move which will see Wimbledon join fellow League Two clubs Forest Green Rovers and Tranmere Rovers in the scheme.
League One side Bolton Wanderers and Premier League newcomers Luton Town are the only fully professional clubs to have signed up.
The remainder of the clubs on The Big Step register ply their trade in non-league.
Upon signing up to The Big Step, Wimbledon will work with Gambling with Lives to promote “preventative messages” around gambling, as well as training and education in the community.
Johnnie Jackson, Wimbledon manager, said: “If you look at gambling and the damage it causes – the stats around suicides in particular – it’s touched a lot of people and probably more than we realise.
“The fact that so many people voted it through shows just how prevalent the problems around it are and how much people are affected by it, whether it’s themselves or the people around them. The more awareness around gambling you can create, the better.”
Michele Little, Dons Trust Board member, added: “As a club at the heart of our community, we are committed to being a force for good. We took the decision some time ago not to accept gambling advertising or sponsorship as a club.
“Now with the backing of our owners – the fans – we’re signing up to The Big Step and saying that it’s time to end the harm that gambling advertising in football causes.”