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UK Government Move Forward Plans to Ban Football Betting Sponsorships

Nine of the Premier League’s 20 members as well as 15 clubs in the second tier are currently sponsored by betting firms

UK Government Move Forward Plans to Ban Football Betting Sponsorships
UK Government Move Forward Plans to Ban Football Betting Sponsorships

According to media reports, the UK Government are set to review the 2005 Gambling Act with widespread reforms set to include a ban on sponsorship deals between professional football clubs and betting firms. 

Nine of the Premier League’s 20 members as well as 15 clubs in the second tier are currently sponsored by betting firms; deals worth a combined £100m per season. The potential ban has received the backing from several quarters. Former Conservative leader, Sir Iain Duncan Smith has “welcomed” the move whilst earlier this month former England international footballer, Peter Shilton, called for an end to football gambling sponsorships.  

A review of the 2005 Gambling Act was carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) between December 2020 and March this year. Now, a source close to the review has claimed:

“We are pretty sure there is going to be an end to front-of-shirt advertising. Everybody is expecting that. Reformers want more but a lot of politicians are worried about the lower leagues. 

“The Government thinks front-of-shirt will catch the headlines and it will feel like it has made a bold statement.” 

A spokesperson for the DCMS, stated:

 “We are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of our gambling laws, including advertising and marketing, to make sure they are fit for the digital age. 

'We are determined to tackle problem gambling in all its forms and the work will build upon our strong track record of introducing measures to protect those at risk. No decisions have been taken.” 

According to reports in the media, a wider ban is also believed to be under consideration that would exclude advertising via TV commercials and pitchside hoardings. The reforms could also see an existing loophole closed that allows betting brands without a UK licence to partner with ‘white label’ companies to provide access to the British market. 

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