July 3 – Gambling sponsorship on football shirts in the UK should be banned as a deterrant to young people being lured into betting, a British House of Lords report has recommended.
Currently half of the 20 Premier clubs and all but seven of the second-tier Championship clubs are sponsored by bookmakers but in a 192-page report, a cross-party committee has called for all shirt sponsorship deals, amounting to £350 million in the top flight, to be phased out immediately.
It also set a 2023 deadline for Championship teams to do the same.
“There should be no gambling advertising in or near any sports grounds or sports venues, including sports programmes,” the report said.
It said removing betting sponsorship entirely would “not unduly harm Premier League clubs but it would very probably have a serious effect on smaller clubs.
“We therefore think they should be given time, perhaps three years, to adapt to the new situation. They would not be allowed in that time to enter into new sponsorship contracts with gambling companies, but any existing contracts could continue until they terminate, and clubs would have time to seek alternative sources of sponsorship.”
The English Football League (EFL) countered that the gambling sector contributes £40 million a season to the league and its clubs and with the financial problems of the coronavirus pandemic, this “significant” contribution is “as important now as it has ever been”.
It also says working to prevent gambling problems with the betting companies is of “greater benefit” than a ban.
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