Newly elected British prime minister Boris Jhonson has joined forces with the voices criticizing the football association’s deal that allows betting companies to show games on their websites and apps.
According to a deal between gambling companies and the football association in the UK, the operators can live stream FA Cup games on their websites and apps as a part of the six-year deal.
However, this has drawn criticisms from both policymakers and health experts as they claim that it not only incentivizes gambling but also fuels gambling addiction.
It should be noted that gambling addiction is on the rise in the UK and the UK gambling commission has been battling with ensuring compliance and restricting children’s exposure to gambling products and adverts in the country.
Following the criticisms, UK health secretary Matt Hancock expressed disappointment and urged the FA to reconsider its decision.
Yesterday, following criticisms, the FA confirmed that it would be reconsidering its deal with the country’s top betting operator Bet 365.
Yesterday night, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said:
‘This is a matter for the FA but we believe it should reconsider its deal with Bet365. It is for the FA to deal with, but you should call a bad business a bad business.’
In the UK there are a total of seven gambling operators that live stream FA cup matches on their online platforms. The betting companies that have an active deal with the FA include top names from the industry like Bet365, William Hill, Coral, Ladbrokes, Unibet and Paddy Power.
Criticizing the Football Association’s deal with betting companies, Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan commented:
‘We have been clear with the football authorities – they have a responsibility to ensure fans are protected from the risks of problem gambling. I hope the FA reconsiders.’