Channel 4 commissions Ruth Davidson Tackles Gambling and Football (w/t)

Category: News Release

Channel 4 have commissioned Firecrest Films to explore the complex relationship between the gambling industry and football, fronted by Ruth Davidson.
Ruth Davidson Tackles Gambling and Football (w/t) is an hour-long Channel 4 documentary in which life-long football fan and former journalist Ruth Davidson explores how football and gambling have become intertwined in recent years. 

In her debut documentary since stepping down as leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson examines the popularity of football betting, the growth of gambling advertising, the impact of new technology and widespread concerns about harm, particularly for younger fans. With the upcoming Review of the 2005 Gambling Act Ruth Davidson asks uncomfortable questions about how we got here, why the Government has taken so long to address this and if the Government are themselves addicted to revenues gambling brings to the Treasury. 

Channel 4 Head of News and Current Affairs, Louisa Compton says, “With an estimated 1.2 million problem gamblers across Britain [1] and research suggesting only a tiny proportion of these get the right help [2] this hard hitting investigation examines whether its time to fundamentally change the relationship between football and gambling.

Ruth Davidson says, "As a lifelong fan that grew up in a football household, I've watched as our national game has become saturated by gambling logos. From leagues to broadcasts, shirts to stadiums, gambling firms have infiltrated every nook and cranny of the game and use footy fans to push other products. I wanted to find out what potential harm this has caused - and whether we need a radical rethink to wean football off its gambling addiction.
Nicole Kleeman, Exec Producer for Firecrest Films says, “We’re delighted to be working with Ruth, Jenni and Channel 4 on such an important film."
Ruth Davidson Tackles Gambling and Football (w/t) is a 1x60 produced by Firecrest Films, Executive Producer Nicole Kleeman, Filmed and Directed by Jennifer Shaw and commissioned by Channel 4 Head of News and Current Affairs Louisa Compton.


[1] GambleAware/YouGov Annual GB Treatment and Support Survey 2020 indicates 2.4% of survey respondents in Great Britain were problem gamblers. ONS Population Data estimates 51,220,471 adults in Great Britain.

[2] Annual Statistics from the National Gambling Treatment Service 2020 reports that 9,008 individuals were treated within gambling services in 2019/20.