UK Sponsorship Ban for Foreign Casinos and Bookies

The UK Government have announced that the planned reform of gambling laws will propose a ban on foreign casinos and bookmakers sponsoring UK football shirts.

They are also looking at banning a loophole which allows these betting firms to use what is known as a white label system in which they form partnerships with small bookies and casinos which hold a UK Gambling Commission license and then agree on football sponsorship deals through these partnerships.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport are even considering banning UK based bookies and casinos from advertising on shirts and on hoardings around the pitch, as it has been estimated that gambling-related adverts appear up to 700 times during the course of a football match, thus, also having an impact on children and vulnerable individuals.

The downside of these new proposals will be the substantial financial shortfall for the EFL, which will have a drastic effect on Football league finances.

Trevor Birch Chief Executive of the EFL

We’re concerned because finance and sponsorship from the betting sector is an important part of the financing of the EFL, the figure we would put on it is £40m. If that particular avenue is closed off to us, it will have a substantial impact on our finances.

Trevor BirchChief Executive of the EFL

Experts within the industry have said that an outright ban on gambling advertisements is unlikely, but Birch added, “Life goes on, and if it is a short-term hit, we have to find an alternative. Who knows what else is out there in terms of sponsorship that might fill the gap? But it’s also the case that the gambling industry does make an awful lot of money from football. So, in some shape or form, we think that they should be making some kind of contribution. It could be in a different form to shirt sponsorship.”

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