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UK government set to prohibit Premier League clubs from having betting sponsors

UK government set to prohibit Premier League clubs from having betting sponsors

UK government set to prohibit Premier League clubs from having betting sponsors

The government is preparing to implement a betting sponsor ban, which will affect Premier League clubs.

The BBC reports that the UK government is considering changes to current regulations for jersey sponsors, including a bar on gambling sponsors, when laws are changed later this month.

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Nine Premier League clubs, including Newcastle United, Everton, and Leeds United, had betting companies as their primary shirt sponsors in 2021/22, with Norwich City being the only team in the division without one. Last year, 15 Championship teams had sponsors with six of them having sponsors on the front of their shirts.

In a 2020 interview with Sportsmail, EFL chairman Rick Parry questioned the concept, admitting that removing betting companies as sponsors jeopardized teams’ ability to recover financially from the pandemic’s effects. The Football League has been sponsored by SkyBet from 2013/14.

If the new legislation passes through Parliament, it may be in effect by the 2023/24 season, allowing teams time to find new sponsors.

Last season, gambling business deals worth over £100 million were reported to the Daily Mail by Premier League and Championship clubs.

The removal of front-of-shirt sponsors could be the first step toward a more comprehensive ban on gambling promotion, with the removal of betting businesses from billboards and a prohibition on advertisements using sports stars likely to follow.

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Newcastle are one of the Premier League clubs believed to have turned out betting sponsors on their shirts for the new season, despite signing a ‘new long-term commercial partnership’ with FUN88 for 2020. The club is said to have negotiated an early termination of their relationship with the Chinese company in order to avoid a potential ban on betting sponsorships. The official sponsor of the Magpies for the 2018 campaign has yet to be identified.

Everton was scolded earlier this month for picking as its new partner, but if gambling rules are changed this month, the club may be forced to make changes.

Technology has resulted in a significant surge of gambling corporations sponsoring sports, with the linkages between the two industries experiencing a rapid increase in advertising, prompting concerns about gambling-related harm.

After speaking about his own 45-year gambling addiction, former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton joined a 12,000-strong petition last year calling for improvements.

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Ex-Arsenal footballer Paul Merson and former Newcastle winger Keith Gillespie are two other well-known celebrities who have spoken openly about their gambling addictions. The former wrote a book called ‘Hooked,’ in which he detailed his addiction issues, including losing £7 million due to a gambling addiction.

If the modifications are approved, it will mark the most major change in sports advertising legislation since cigarette advertising was made illegal in 2003.

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