UK – Following the announcement of new gambling legislation that will be introduced in the UK in April of this year, the UK government has backed down on initial plans to ban gambling firms from having their logo on the front of football shirts.
Many football teams, particularly in England and Wales are currently sponsored by gambling and betting firms and display the firms’ logo on the front of their football kits.
It was rumoured, amid pressure and criticism on the gambling and betting industry due to gambling problems, that government ministers would look to ban gambling shirt sponsorships in a bid to help reduce the number of gambling addicts in the UK.
Helen Whately, a UK government minister commented:
“I think, and I work with the Sports Minister on this kind of area, we’ve been really clear that football authorities have a very important responsibility to make sure that fans are protected from the risks of gambling addiction. I think the football authorities are taking these responsibilities seriously and have taken steps for instance like banning the promotion of gambling, whistle to whistle, during football matches.”
Whately expanded further:
“So this is absolutely about making sure you get the balance right there and we don’t want to have people feeling forced to bet when they’re trying to enjoy sport.”
Nick Ferrari, a British journalist and radio presenter grilled government minister Helen Whately on failing to enforce the ban:
“17 of the 24 [English] championship teams have a betting firm on as their shirt sponsor. That obviously tells you this is very lucrative… You and your colleagues have moved into the area of credit cards, why did you baulk at the idea of saying that those deals must stop in the future?”