One-Third of UK Soccer Fans Wouldn’t Buy Team Shirts That Sport Gambling Logos

  • The survey found that nearly half of soccer fans are against betting brands appearing on shirts
  • 66% believed there are too many gambling ads during televised soccer games
  • 26 of the 44 top teams in English soccer feature gambling logos on their shirt fronts
  • Cardiff City struck a sponsorship deal with 888 Sport allowing branding on training wear only
West Ham United shirt with betway logo
A recent survey of more than 1,000 UK soccer fans has revealed that 34% would not buy a team shirt if it featured a betting logo on it. [Image:]

47% support outright ban

One third (34%) of soccer fans in the UK wouldn’t spend money on replica team shirts sporting a gambling logo, a survey has revealed. In addition, the same poll of more than 1,000 soccer fans showed that 47% supported an outright ban on gambling firms sponsoring soccer clubs.

The survey was conducted by London-based polling and market research agency Survation on behalf of the new anti-gambling-ads alliance, the Coalition Against Gambling Ads (CAGA). It found that 66% of fans believe there are too many televised gambling advertisements connected to soccer games.

Survation tweeted that football fans were turning against gambling sponsorship of UK soccer:

CAGA includes soccer-focused pressure group Gambling With Lives, created by the parents of Jack Ritchie, a man who took his own life at the age of 24 following a gambling addiction.

Soccer sponsorship showdown

Out of the 44 top teams in English soccer, 26 have a gambling company logo emblazoned on the front of their shirts. For betting firms, this space represents the perfect canvas for increasing brand awareness among the billions of viewers worldwide tuning in to the matches.

With upcoming UK gambling laws widely expected to be detrimental to sports betting sponsorships, gambling, and iGaming in general, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has been trying to establish some form of middle ground.

Studies have shown that the BGC’s brainchild whistle to whistle ad ban slashed children’s viewership of betting commercials by 97%. Conversely, the Survation poll reveals that 67% thought the whistle-to-whistle ban “had not prevented” children from seeing gambling brands in soccer.

The UK gambling and gaming industry group introduced the “whistle to whistle” ban in 2019. The rule restricts betting commercials from airing during live sports broadcasts before 9pm, including five minutes both before and after a game.

Matt Zarb-Cousin, the director of Clean Up Gambling, said: “The government would have the backing of football fans if it decided to move against gambling ads.”

government would have the backing of football fans if it decided to move against gambling ads

Whitehall sources have said that Number 10 is taking a personal interest in the UK Gambling Act reform.

Measures and compromises

A spokesperson for the BGC said, however, that gambling provides sports like soccer with funding, in addition to enabling TV channels to air more sports. The BGC added that it also “plays a vital role in differentiating legally licensed operators from those in the black market who have none of the safety protections in place with UK operators.”

20% of TV and radio advertisements must contain messages about safer gambling

In addition, the BGC said it had introduced “tough new measures” to prevent under-18s from being exposed to betting ads online. These include a requirement agreed to by betting firms that 20% of TV and radio advertisements must contain messages about safer gambling.

The BGC said it was determined to raise standards across the industry, and that it “looks forward to working with the government on its forthcoming gambling review to do just that.”

In what might be a growing trend in the months to come, Cardiff City FC week struck a sponsorship and betting partnership deal with global wagering brand 888 Sport last week. Instead of the 888 Sport logo being featured on the front of shirts during televised games, the firm’s branding will only appear on training wear.

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