UK Government Could Ban Gambling Sponsorships

he UK Government is reportedly planning to finalise a reform of gambling laws over the next few weeks that would see a ban on gambling company sponsorships of sporting clubs.

The reforms, which were launched as part of a review of the 2005 Gambling Act by the department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), would require all English football clubs to end betting sponsorships.

It is estimated betting shirt sponsorships alone across the English Premier League and second tier English Football League (EFL) are worth UK£100 million (AUD$188 million) according to the Daily Mail.

Nine Premier League clubs have shirt sponsorships with gambling companies, along with six EFL clubs, however the EFL also holds a title sponsorship with SkyBet.

The reports come after similar moves throughout Spain and Italy in recent years, which has caused financial concerns for a number of sporting clubs with lucrative betting sponsorship deals.

EFL CEO, Trevor Birch, said the potential bans are “concerning” for the league, with the clubs to suffer a likely “substantial impact”.

“We’re concerned because finance and sponsorship from the betting sector is an important part of the financing of the EFL,” Birch said.

“The figure we would put on it is UK£40 million (AUD$75 million).

“If that particular avenue is closed off to us it will have a substantial impact on our finances…

“Life goes on and if it is a short-term hit we have to find an alternative.

“Who knows what else is out there in terms of sponsorship that might fill the gap?

“But it’s also the case that the gambling industry does make an awful lot of money from football.

“So in some shape or form we think that they should be making some kind of contribution.

“It could be in a different form to shirt sponsorship,” he said.