The English Football League (EFL) has very recently released a public statement in relation to its gambling sponsorship connections following criticism and reaffirmation of its committment to responsible betting and gaming.
The statement outlines that the organisation is having regular and open discussions with stakeholders, including UK Government officials, to make sure that any partnerships currently active are taking the necessary precautions and measures of responsible and safe gambling.
Gambling has always had a long-standing association with the EFL and has always simed to provide a ‘collaborative, evidence-based approach’ in order to prevent harm from gambling such as addiction, allowing responsible materials to encourage safe gambling and recognise harms.
The EFL statements states:
‘Through a highly visible awareness and education campaign, the EFL and Sky Bet work together to promote responsible gambling, with players from all three divisions wearing sleeve badges to encourage supporters to consider how they gamble and 70% of the sponsor’s matchday inventory dedicated to safer gambling messaging.’
In addition, the EFL also outlined that such sponsorships play a part in maintaining ‘financial sustainability of professional football at all levels’, particularly in unprecedented times of crisis as per the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, which has left many participating clubs on a ‘financial knife edge’.
Furthermore, officials of the league have made it clear that they are somewhat disappointed at being left in the dark with regards to fans returning to spectate matches in a safe manner ‘despite other sectors being able to welcome people through their doors’.
The organisation branded the inconsistency ‘frustrating and perplexing’ and concluded by stating:
‘Our approach in respect of Gambling sponsorship is under constant review and the League will also contribute to any call for evidence by the Government as we seek to protect an important and vital income stream for our membership in a time of financial crisis.’