A social enterprise has launched what it describes as the UK’s first charity betting website.
Under the scheme, the first bet of £5 or more someone places with a partner bookmaker will release a donation of at least £5 to the cancer charity. People betting through the website will also benefit from free-bet offers. Seven major bookmakers, including Betfred, William Hill and Betfair, have signed up to the scheme.
A spokesman for the social enterprise said it had been set a target of raising £100,000 for the charity, although there was no deadline.
Bet4Balls.com was founded by four football fans. One of them, Daniel Sanderson, said: "We admire what Movember achieved in successfully bringing millions of men together to fight for a single cause and help raise money for a fantastic charity. We want to replicate that same success to raise awareness of prostate cancer in the UK as well as providing valuable funds to help with new methods of detection and treatment."
But Stella Dalton, the head of education and prevention at GamCare, a gambling advice charity, told Third Sector that the creation of the website raised some concerns. "There’s no reason to doubt the intentions of Prostate Cancer UK," she said. "In order to donate, you have to place a bet, and there are of course various risks associated with betting. Some might be encouraged to bet where perhaps they would not previously have taken part."
Dalton said she was pleased to see that Bet4Balls had included a link to GambleAware.co.uk, which encourages responsible gambling.
Alison Walker, head of corporate partnerships at Prostate Cancer UK, said: "Prostate Cancer UK is about reaching men of all backgrounds and interests, using a range of new channels. It's about creating a movement for men's health and uniting men against prostate cancer. That's why we are using men's passion for sport to engage with them, especially through our innovative partnership with the Football League and other organisations in male-dominated sectors. We need to be where men are and go where they go."