2021 Gambling Review might bring along shirt sponsorship ban

2021 Gambling Review might bring along shirt sponsorship ban

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Posted by: AffPapa
Boris Johnson

The Daily Telegraph has reported earlier today that British PM Boris Johnson will most likely be supporting a ban on gambling industry shirt sponsorships all across football. Citing sources ‘close to Downing Street’, the Telegraph claimed that Johnson’s senior cabinet are willing to press ahead with major reforms to the UK gambling sector.

A ban on shirt sponsorships by gambling brands has been suggested as a possible result as the mandate carries cross-party and ‘two-thirds of public support’, according to campaigners.

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Harms, stated that she was quite certain that a sponsorship ban would be one of the ‘common-sense outcomes’ of the review.

Despite its evident support, the government is aware of the effect and timing of a sponsorship ban on football, which would most likely leave a ‘£110million-a-year dent’ on Premier League and Championship club accounts. 

Last Autumn, EFL leadership wrote to the DCMS saying that lower league football clubs were on a ‘financial knife-edge dealing with the consequences of COVID-19 pandemic’. The EFL supported alterations to betting’s relationship with football but told the government not to follow European counterparts in forcing a blanket ban on football sponsorships. In support of the betting sponsorships, the EFL underlined the response to operators’ concerns of social responsibility, in which League sponsor Sky Bet had donated 70% of its matchday inventory to promote safer gambling and education of compulsive behaviours.

The PM’s senior cabinet has kept stating that all gambling sector reforms ‘will be led by the evidence’ that is given by DCMS’ review that is in progress, and which triggered its consultation phase last December. The government’s 2021 agenda will see DCMS publish its ‘white paper’ of recommendations for the British gambling sector by around late summer or autumn.

An additional option of urging a ‘sports rights levy’ to be paid by betting operators to governing bodies has been ‘informally discussed’ as the government acknowledges the fact that advertising curbs will raise funding concerns from professional sports.

Previous attempts at building up these rights have fallen on the European laws’ deaf ears, but some of those doors could possibly be re-opened after Brexit. Keeping a close relationship with PM Johnson, the Daily Telegraph claimed that the Prime Minister will be assuming an active role in how UK gambling’s future laws and standards will be altered.