MP Dawn Butler takes part in walk to protest gambling adverts during Euro 2020
- Credit: James May
Brent Central's MP marched five miles from Wembley Stadium to Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium to highlight gambling concerns.
As part of the the Big Step charity walk, Dawn Butler joined the campaign by a route from Wembley Stadium to Queen's Park Rangers' ground, formerly known as Loftus Road, on June 10.
The trail was run by a group of people harmed by gambling who walked from Scotland to Wembley Stadium – covering nearly 300 miles in ten days – to call for gambling adverts to be suspended during the Euros.
Ms Butler marched from their finishing place in at the stadium and took the baton through Harlesden - which has the highest density of gambling shops of all areas in Brent.
Along the walk, the group passed eight gambling shops and adult gaming centres, with four located within metres from one another in Harlesden High Street.
Ms Butler recently made a submission to the Gambling Review, in which she called on the Government to give councils and communities greater control to prevent more gambling establishments.
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“I wanted to show The Big Step Walk and anyone negatively affected by gambling that they are not alone," she said. "My powerful submission to the Government highlights the dangers of gambling establishments.
"On our journey between these two famous stadiums located in the heart of our communities, we walked past so many betting advertising hoardings, shops and much more.
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"Lockdown has added to gambling harms and gamblers are getting younger.
"It is time for the Government, big companies and the sports industries to take note and make real change."
There are an estimated 250-650 gambling-related suicides every year and analysis undertaken by YouGov has shown that 1.4 million people in the UK are considered “problem gamblers”.
Problem gambling is affecting even younger people with an estimated 55,000 11 to 16-year-olds also considered as “problem gamblers”.
James Grimes, The Big Step Founder said he was "delighted" to have the MP join them adding: "There is growing public and political support for ending gambling advertising but the tragic reality is that during the upcoming Euros, addiction will be started and maintained by the incessant promotion of gambling - and some of these people will take their own life.”