As part of the UK Gambling Act review, bookmakers’ brands may be banned from appearing on the front of football shirts, according to a report by Sportsmail.
The review will likely result in changes to UK gaming advertising regulations, although the impact of television advertising has also been reported to be considered. Furthermore, the ban is less likely to be implemented in the lower leagues, given the significant financial impact.
A source told the Mail: “We’re pretty sure there will be an end to front-of-the-shirt advertising. Everyone is expecting this. Lawmakers want more, but many politicians are concerned about the lower leagues. The government thinks that the front of the shirt will make headlines and it will look like it took a bold step.”
President of BGC declared that industry cannot be the only one to blame
At the online seminar ‘Releasing the Terms of UK Gaming Law Review’, presented by the SBC, Brigid Simmonds, Chairman of the Board of Betting and Gaming (BGC), emphasized her position that the gaming industry cannot be held solely responsible by gambling problems and the risks that come with betting.
With the Department of Education now introducing the topic into the Personal, Social, Health and Economics (PSHE) curriculum to educate young people about the risks associated with gambling, Simmonds suggested that other sectors should step up and accept their responsibility.
“One person with a problem is awesome. We need to have an approach to this. For the past 20 years, industry has been the sole funder of research, education and treatment, and only very recently has the NHS come in and decided to open new centers,” said Simmonds.
“I think they’ve set up three centers and there’s still £200 million for them to set up more. I visited the one in Leeds and what was absolutely clear is that a lot of those who have problems with the game have problems in other areas and that’s what has to be incorporated so that we can help these people.”
She added: “As an industry, we have just announced that we will spend another £100 million by 2024 on funding the national helpline, funding bets and funding the 10 million we just put into education through YGAM and GamCare and obviously the Department of Education is now involved. However, it can’t just be left to the industry, so I hope some of that gets rethought.”
Nine of the top English clubs have advertising for bookmakers
Currently, nine of the top English teams have bookmakers as sponsors on their shirts, with a potential ban fearing the significant impact on club revenues. The completion of the revision of the Act is now being overseen by Chris Philp, after he was named the new Minister of Gaming, replacing John Whittingdale.
Throughout his career, he has campaigned for stricter regulation of fixed-odds betting terminals before the implementation of the £2 betting limit in 2019, suggesting he may take a tougher stand than his predecessors.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Board of Betting and Gaming (BGC), said: “On behalf of the 119,000 people whose work is supported by members of the BGC, I welcome Chris Philp as the new minister in charge of gaming. He arrives with an excellent reputation as a gifted and extremely capable minister.”