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Members of Parliament Urge Premier League to Cut Volume of Gambling Ads

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British Members of Parliament (MP) are urging the Premier League and other governing bodies to decrease the number of gambling advertisements in stadiums.

According to the recently released Culture, Media, and Sport Committee report on gambling regulation, efforts should be made to reduce children’s exposure to gambling advertising.

Addressing Gambling Shirt Sponsorships and Calls for Broader Reforms

The committee cited a recent study that discovered that gambling branding on the front of shirts constituted 7% of all visible gambling branding observed across 10 broadcasted matches surveyed. It also revealed that up to 7,000 gambling messages were seen during six games on the season's opening weekend.

In the 2022-23 season, eight Premier League clubs secured front-shirt deals with gambling companies, collectively valued at around £60 million annually.

In April 2023, Premier League clubs historically agreed to phase out gambling sponsorships on the front of match shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season.

While the committee welcomed the move, it emphasized that this action alone will not reduce the overall volume of visible adverts during a game, since clubs can still feature gambling companies on short sleeves and with LED perimeter advertising.

Furthermore, the report supported several provisions outlined in the gambling White Paper, including the creation of a financial risk assessment system by gambling operators for customer accounts that incur specific losses within a set timeframe.

Additionally, the committee favored the government's plan to introduce increased online protections for young adults by setting lower stake limits and establishing thresholds that prompt financial risk checks.

Report Recommendations

However, the report concluded that the government should adopt a more cautious approach to advertising than what was suggested in the gambling White Paper, which steered clear of imposing strict restrictions on advertising.

The MPs proposed that a new gambling sponsorship code of conduct for sports should have measures to decrease stadium advertisements while allocating more space for safer gambling messages.

While gambling regulation should not overly impinge on the freedom to enjoy what is a problem-free pastime for the majority, more should be done to shield both children and people who have experienced problem gambling from what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events.

Caroline DinenageCulture, Media and Sport Committee Chair

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