There is NO guarantee that gambling companies will be banned from sponsoring football shirts after the government completes its review as the audit shows there are 193 deals with gambling companies in the top four divisions.
- The 20 Premier League clubs together have 77 betting contracts worth £ 78 million
- Eight Premier League clubs have their shirts sponsored by gambling companies
- EFL Chairman Rick Parry has warned of a ban on gambling sponsorship
- The 72 clubs of the Football League have no fewer than 116 contracts for betting companies
It is not certain that gambling companies will be banned from advertising football club shirts when the government completes the revision of UK gambling laws later this year, Whitehall sources said.
The development comes as an ‘audit’ of Mail on Sunday reveals that the 92 clubs in England’s top four divisions have at least 193 separate sponsorship or advertising deals with betting companies, worth £ 116.8 million.
Of those 193 deals, eight are Premier League club shirt sponsors, 12 championship shirt sponsors, and two bottom two divisions shirt sponsors, although neither, while still ‘main partners’, are on the shirts (at Ipswich and Wigan). ) after backlash from fans at the deals.
It is not certain that gambling companies will be banned from sponsoring football kits after the government completes its revision of the gambling laws.
A blanket ban on deals on gambling shirts has long been talked about, and it has been suggested in recent months that Prime Minister Boris Johnson might push for this personally.
“It is an option and not out of the question, although it is becoming clear that gambling money is an important income stream at some clubs,” said an insider.
When asked whether shirt sponsorship can be banned because all other betting deals remain legal, be it official club ‘betting partners’, commercials for betting companies or in-stadium betting providers, another person familiar with the review said: ‘Nothing is off the table. You saw nothing prohibited or everything prohibited, but I wouldn’t think the latter. ‘
EFL Chairman Rick Parry has warned against gambling sponsorship
Rick Parry, the chairman of the EFL and thus responsible for the 72 clubs in the three divisions under the Premier League, said earlier this month that a ban on gambling sponsorship in football would be ‘catastrophic’. Arguing that there is nothing intrinsically harmful about gambling advertisements, he told the Financial Times, “There is no evidence that banning sponsorships will reduce the prevalence of gambling problems.”
Others would argue otherwise, citing leaps and bounds in gambling addiction, as betting has become more ‘normalized’ and more accessible, not least through the internet. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says that ‘problem gambling’ (defined as’ gambling that interferes with or harms personal, family or recreational activities’) affects nearly one percent of people and that seven percent ‘gamble at risky levels that could become a problem in the future’. Other studies estimate between 300,000 and 1.2 million problem gamblers in the UK.
The review will be completed “in months instead of weeks” and even if recommendations are made or the law is changed, any changes are likely to be introduced gradually over years rather than all at once.
An audit by Mail On Sunday found that there are 193 deals with betting companies in the top four leagues
The Mail on Sunday ‘audit’ found that the 20 Premier League clubs have 77 contracts from betting companies this season worth a total of £ 78 million.
Eight have gambling companies as main shirt sponsors, from West Hamams £ 10 million a year deal with Betway to Fulham’s £ 3 million a year deal with BetVictor; three clubs have sleeve sponsors from gambling companies; 16 clubs together have 28 betting partners who are not also shirt sponsors (Leicester alone has five); 18 have betting contracts in the stadium for betting on match days; and all 20 have deals that allow one or more betting companies to run hoarding ads.
The Football League’s 72 clubs have 116 contracts with betting companies worth around £ 38.8 million, of which 61 in the Championship (12 shirt sponsors, plus various betting partners, on-site betting partners and hoard deals) add up to £ 26.8 million.
The 48 clubs in the bottom two divisions have 55 deals worth around £ 12 million, with all EFL clubs required to promote EFL sponsors SkyBet.