Nine Premier League clubs currently have betting firms as their main sponsors
The UK government is expected to place a ban on betting companies sponsoring football shirts.
A review into the country’s gambling laws is ongoing, with a report expected to be published in the months ahead. According to the Daily Mail, this is almost certain to include proposals to outlaw front-of-football-shirt sponsorship from betting companies.
The review is also exploring other ways of significantly reducing the amount of betting advertising within sport, with TV commercials during live broadcasts and pitch-side hoardings also being looked at. Neither of these areas, though, appear as likely to be banned as shirt sponsors.
45% of current Premier League clubs have betting firms as their front-of-shirt sponsor. Another six clubs in the Championship have similar deals in place. There have been some concerns that banning such sponsorship deals may pose problems for some football clubs.
“We are pretty sure there is going to be an end to front-of-shirt advertising,” a source told the Mail. “Everybody is expecting that. 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.”
A review into the 2005 Gambling Act was opened at the end of last year. The way in which people bet has changed enormously in the last 16 years, and the review’s proposals are expected to reflect that.
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who are carrying out the review, will look into the relationship between gambling and sport and is expected to factor in the findings of the recent review into the collapse of Football Index, which was published on Wednesday.
The policy document which outlines proposals for future legislation is expected to be published before the end of the year and followed by a three-month consultation period before it goes to Parliament.
This, the Mail’s report explains, means it is unlikely that any changes affecting football teams are unlikely to come in before 2023.
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