According to a report by Sportsmail, it has been confirmed that review of the 2005 Gambling Act will see the prohibition of gambling sponsorship arrangements with Premier League football clubs.
This will prevent the logos of betting and gaming operators – which have been a long-standing marketing feature of the Premier League – from appearing on the front of team’s shirts, with nine top-flight clubs currently maintaining such arrangements.
Pitchside advertising and television marketing will also reportedly be considered as part of the review, although clubs competing in the English Football League will apparently be less impacted, as politicians are concerned about the financial impact the ban could have on the lower leagues.
“We are pretty sure there is going to be an end to front-of-shirt advertising. Everybody is expecting that,” a source close to the review told the Mail.
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.”
Completion of the Gambling Act review is now being overseen by Chris Philp, after he replaced John Whittingdale as gambling minister earlier this week. It can be expected that one of the new minister’s key responsibilities will be to coordinate the implementation of the sponsorship ban.
The Croydon South MP’s career has seen him campaign 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.
Commenting on the recent development, Imogen Moss, a gambling industry and regulatory expert from solicitors Poppleston Allen noted that an end to front-of-shirt sponsorships could just be the first of a number of reforms, potining to Spain’s outright prohibition of any form of domestic commercial relationships between the gambling industry and football.
“Given the DCMS have been clear that the review’s purpose is to overhaul regulations to ensure they’re fit for the digital age, banning a traditional form of advertising like shirt sponsorship might not be where marketing reform ends.
“Betting brands should now also consider how they market to a football audience via digital means too, with the sweeping changes in Spain – spanning social media and television advertising among other channels – showing the extent of how far governments and regulators can go.”