Premier League Clubs Collectively Ban Gambling Sponsorship

The decision of Premier League clubs to ban sponsorship from gambling companies has been highly welcomed. It is the first sports league in the U.K. to take such a stand. This followed a consultation between the league, its 20 clubs, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of the government’s ongoing review of the current gambling legislature.

Lucy Frazer, Culture Secretary, said the vast majority of adults gamble safely. “But we have to recognize that footballers are role models who have an enormous influence on young people. We want to work with institutions like the Premier League to do the right thing for young fans.” The ministry will soon bring forward a gambling white paper to update protections for punters and ensure those who are at risk of gambling harm and addiction are protected.

Currently, eight Premier League clubs – Leeds, Southampton, Bournemouth, Everton, Fulham, New Castle, Brentford, and West Ham, have gambling sponsorship on the front of their shirts. According to research from Sportico’s Premier League team valuations, the deals are worth an estimated total of $70 million this season. But the decision does not ban gambling companies from being used as sponsors on shirt sleeves.

The League said the body is working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship. “The Big Step”, a campaign group with support from former England goalkeeper Peter Shilton, has been pushing to end gambling sponsorship for quite some time. It wants to sideline advertisements and other forms of gambling sponsorship to be ended as well.