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World Cup gambling debts set to increase pressure in Cost-of-Living Crisis

The FIFA World Cup 2022 is here and that means an exciting time ahead for football fans across the world, with millions of die-hard fans, and casual watchers, tuning in to witness one of the largest sporting events in the world.

It also marks a period of increased sports betting that, coupled with the current cost of living crisis, could create a perfect storm for vulnerable people across the UK to fall into debt.

According to a recent survey by, a UK debt charity, over a quarter (28%) of football fans felt anxious about how much they might lose while betting during the world cup. The survey further found that 43% of fans planned to bet during this year’s World Cup, with 39% admitting that financial pressures might drive them to gamble more than intended.

This shows the danger that increased gambling may have during the current cost of living crisis. With household budgets already stretched thin, the pressure to gamble during the World Cup may be higher, and the risks of taking out these bets far greater. People can fund bets with overdrafts, credit cards and payday loans, and they might even be tempted to gamble more in an effort to pay off the debts.

This pressure has been well documented in the past, with a report in 2017 finding that almost 95% of TV advertising breaks during live UK football matches feature at least one gambling advert, according to the Victoria Derbyshire show.

the world cup being help up

Elsewhere, we have already seen how the cost-of-living crisis has affected gambling debts with separate GambleAware research finding that one in ten women have turned to gambling to supplement their household income to afford rising costs.

Prior to the pandemic and the current cost of living crisis, the UK was already responsible for one of the world’s largest gambling markets, with a profit of £14.2 billion in 2020With 43% of all Brits having gambled at least once as of March 2022.

It’s clear that an increase in Gambling, particularly sports betting around the World Cup could lead to an increase in gambling debts amidst the current cost of living crisis. Putting vulnerable households in even more dangerous positions.

While the services to help prevent and protect people from excessive gambling, such as GambleAware and GameCare exist, the means to help those who have fallen into gambling related debts remains difficult. This sentiment was echoed in a recent October report by the University of Bristol who called on better integration between debt advice and gambling support services.

It has become clear that amidst the cost-of-living crisis, gambling debts look to become a serious concern, staying aware of your current financial situation this football season may be vital and that debt advice companies may need to put in a conserved effort to make those struggling with gambling related debts aware of the help that is available.

Help for gambling addiction is available through GambleAware (0808 8020 133) or you can speak to the Samaritans (116 123) for anyone struggling with their mental health.

To find out more about managing your debt and receiving free debt advice visit If you enter a solution with MoneyPlus we will charge you fees. If you do not enter a solution managed by us, there will be no fee for the advice that we provide. All fees and risks will be explained in full before you choose a solution. 

World Cup gambling debts set to increase pressure in Cost-of-Living Crisis