In sport, timing is everything. So this was a stroke of luck for the Gambling with Lives campaigners who descended on Middlesbrough’s Riverside stadium yesterday as part of a long-planned protest against top-flight football’s role in the promotion of the betting industry: two days earlier the club’s main sponsor, Kindred Group, had been handed a £7.1 million fine for “social responsibility failures”, among others, by the Gambling Commission.
Or perhaps not luck, in the sense that it could have been predicted. In 2018 the same firm — owner of the online casino 32Red, whose brand adorns the shirts of Rangers as well as Middlesbrough — had been fined over £2 million for similar failings. These involved taking vast bets from gambling addicts without checking whether