Voluntary gambling sponsorship ban on Premier League shirts will have little effect, say MPs

The voluntary withdrawal of gambling sponsorship from the front of Premier League players’ shirts will have little effect on the volume of betting ads visible during a match, according to a report from the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

online football gambling
A new gambling code of conduct should include both fewer gambling ads in stadia

The voluntary agreement is set to begin at the end of the 2025-26 season (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/premier-league-clubs-to-voluntarily-withdraw-shirt-front-gambling-ads/).

The government needs to take a ‘more precautionary’ approach to advertising than was included in this year’s gambling white paper, which faced widespread criticism for not doing enough to address the issue (https://www.drinkanddrugsnews.com/lukewarm-response-to-gambling-white-paper/), the report states. 

The document cites studies claiming that front-of-shirt branding accounts for less than 10 per cent of gambling advertising seen during broadcast matches, with almost 7,000 gambling messages visible during six matches surveyed on the season’s opening weekend. A new gambling code of conduct should include both fewer gambling ads in stadia and a higher proportion dedicated to safer gambling messages, it recommends. The government also needs to set out a detailed timetable for the delivery of the measures contained in the white paper, it states, many of which are still subject to further consultation

Dame Caroline Dinenage MP
Dame Caroline Dinenage MP

‘While gambling regulation should not overly impinge on the freedom to enjoy what is a problem-free pastime for the majority, more should be done to shield both children and people who have experienced problem gambling from what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events,’ said committee chair Dame Caroline Dinenage MP. ‘The government needs to go further than the proposals in the white paper and work with sports governing bodies on cutting the sheer volume of betting adverts people are being exposed to.’

Gambling regulation report at https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm5804/cmselect/cmcumeds/176/report.html

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