Gambling shirt sponsorship set to be banned in the Premier League

As part of the forthcoming review of the UK Gambling Act, betting and gambling firms are set to be banned from appearing on the front of football shirts, according to a report by Sportsmail. 

The review will likely see widespread changes to UK gambling advertising regulations, whilst it has it also been reported that the impact of pitchside and television advertising is being considered.

Furthermore, the ban is reportedly less likely to be implemented to the lower leagues given the significant financial impact it would have on EFL sides. 

A source close to the review told the Mail: “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.”

Speaking on the ‘Unpicking the Terms of the UK Gambling Act Review‘ webinar, hosted by SBC, Brigid Simmonds, Chair of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), emphasised her stance that the gambling industry cannot be held solely accountable for problem gambling and the risks that come with betting.

With the Department of Education now looking to introduce the topic to the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum to educate young people on the risks associated with gambling, Simmonds suggested that other sectors should step up and accept responsibility.

“One person with a problem is too many,” she stated. “We need to take a holistic approach to this. For the last 20 years, the industry has been the sole funders of research, education and treatment, and only very recently has the NHS come in and decided that they’re going to set up new centres. 

“I think they’ve set up three and there’s still £200 million there for them to set up more. I have visited the one in Leeds and what was absolutely clear from that is that many of those who have a problem with gambling have problems in other areas and this is where it’s got to be embedded in the NHS so that we help those people.

She continued: “As an industry we’ve just announced that we’re going to spend another £100 million by 2024 on funding the national helpline, on funding gamble aware and on funding the 10 million that we’ve just put into education through YGAM and GamCare and obviously the Department of Education is now involved because it’s now a PSHE requirement that you look at something around the risks. However, it can’t be left to just the industry alone so I hope that some of this will be thought through a little further.”

Currently nine of the English top-flight teams have a betting firm as their front of shirt sponsors, with a potential outlawing of front of shirt sponsors having a significant impact on the revenue on clubs outside of the top six. 

Completion of the review of the Act is now being overseen by Chris Philp, after he was named the new Gambling Minister, replacing John Whittingdale.

During the career of the Croydon South representative he has campaigned for stricter regulation of fixed-odds betting terminals, prior to the implementation of the £2 stake limit in 2019, suggesting he may take a tougher stance on the industry than his predecessors when undertaking the review.

He will serve under newly appointed DCMS Secretary Nadine Dorries, who replaced Oliver Dowden earlier as one of the first major changes of the cabinet reshuffle last week.

Welcoming the Minister, Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), stated: “On behalf of the 119,000 people whose jobs are supported by BGC members, I welcome Chris Philp as the new minister responsible for gambling. He comes to the brief with an excellent reputation as a talented and extremely capable minister.”

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