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Voluntary Front-of-Shirt Ban on Gambling and Football Sponsorship is “Expected to be Agreed”

February 23, 2023 World Sports

The government and the Premier League appear close to reaching an agreement that would remove the names of gambling sponsors from the front of football shirts.

The white paper on gambling is anticipated to be released in the upcoming weeks.

The government is not anticipated to advocate for legislating against gambling sponsorship of clubs during that review of gaming laws.

Instead, according to information provided to the BBC, the Premier League would willingly agree to alterations to the front of shirts.

Top-flight clubs reportedly haven’t voted on this yet.

The measures, which former Prime Minister Boris Johnson mainly approved before he resigned, open the door for betting corporations to continue their participation with football.

It is still predicted that betting companies will advertise in Premier League stadiums and on other areas of club shirts.

Even though they are prohibited on junior replica kits, eight of the 20 Premier League clubs have names of gambling companies on the front of their shirts.

After learning that Aston Villa had reportedly inked a contract with Asian-based betting company BK8, the club’s fan consultation committee met with CEO Christian Purslow last month.

Afterwards, it released a statement that read, “The practical fact is that such sponsors pay clubs twice as much financially as non-gambling corporations to teams below the top six.”

A self-regulatory strategy would offer a useful and adaptable substitute to regulation or outright prohibition, according to the Premier League.

The BBC is aware that the attention has been on the Premier League’s affiliation with gambling sponsors because they are the most prominent and influential clubs in English football.

Any full prohibition on gambling sponsorship for its 72 members, according to the English Football League (EFL), which is sponsored by Sky Bet, would cost clubs £40 million annually.

The gambling sector has become more accepted, according to proponents of a wider prohibition, and stricter regulations are required to safeguard minors and other vulnerable populations.

The 22.5 million UK residents who wager each month do so “safely and responsibly,” according to the industry’s trade group, the Betting and Gaming Council.

By to worldwide standards, the rate of problem gambling in the UK’s adult population is still low at 0.3%, down from 0.4% the year before, the article continued.

“At the present, we are certainly the country with the most liberal gambling legislation in the world,” said Iain Duncan Smith, a former leader of the Conservative Party.

A member of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm, Duncan Smith has pushed for stricter regulations from the government.

He claimed that in order to “stop thousands of people strolling around as advertising,” betting business names need to be completely removed from football shirts.

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