An obvious thing to do
Member of Parliament Carolyn Harris spoke about the likelihood of a soccer shirt sponsorship ban within the new UK Gambling Act, calling it an obvious thing to do. She took to Twitter to warn that “the impact of allowing gambling giants to print their logos on club shirts mustn’t be overlooked.”
As the chair of the UK’s gambling-related-harm all-party parliamentary group (GRHAPPG), Harris is confident the new legislation will prohibit betting companies from sponsoring shirts within English soccer leagues when it is passed this autumn or early next year. Such a ban was recommended earlier this month by a House of Lords select committee, which said the measure should not come into effect below English Premier League (EPL) level before 2023.
Implications of a shirt sponsorship ban
A ban on shirt sponsorship would affect several soccer teams, including nine clubs in the EPL. Based on details of the act, the clubs would no longer be able to display betting companies’ logos on their shirt fronts as well as in other areas, such as their stadiums.
The UK MP said she feels the government needs to do more for soccer clubs by way of financial support. Stating that she does not have a problem with sponsorship in general, she added that in soccer, it should not involve things that might cause addiction.
sponsorship needs to come from a family organization”
She emphasized: “It’s the messaging that’s really important. It’s a family environment and therefore the sponsorship needs to come from a family organization.”
Normalizing gambling for children
The MP stated further that she worries children may consider betting with a sportsbook that is associated with their favorite team to be a show of loyalty. She noted that the association between soccer and gambling has been normalized from a very early age, which can lead to a betting problem later on in life.
association between soccer and gambling has been normalized from a very early age
“Young people grow up believing to become involved in gambling is completely normal without knowing anything about the consequences of when it crosses that line,” she concluded.
Major sponsorship ban in Spain
The ongoing review of the UK Gambling Act coincides with the proposed enforcement of a soccer shirt sponsorship ban in Spain. The Royal Decree on Commercial Communications of Gambling Activities strengthens a temporary shirt sponsorship ban in the country and suggests additional gambling advertising restrictions.
The proposal limits gambling advertising via media outlets to one hour per day between 1am and 5am. It also restricts new player promotions by imposing a ceiling of €100 ($113). To access welcome deals, players must have held an open wagering account for one month or longer.