SBC News Premier League clubs agree to end betting shirt sponsorships 

Premier League clubs agree to end betting shirt sponsorships 

Premier League clubs have taken a significant step to reduce the coverage of gambling sponsorships by unanimously agreeing to remove gambling brands from the front of their matchday shirts. 

The anticipated move makes the Premier League the first UK professional sports league to voluntarily implement such a measure phasing out betting sponsorships. 

The decision comes after an extensive consultation process involving the League, its clubs, and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS),as part of the Government’s ongoing review of UK gambling laws. 

DCMS Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said: I welcome the decision by the Premier League to remove front-of-shirt sponsorships by gambling companies.

“The vast majority of adults gamble safely but we have to recognise that footballers are role models who have enormous influence on young people. We want to work with institutions like the Premier League to do the right thing for young fans.

“We will soon bring forward a Gambling White Paper to update protections for punters and ensure those who are at risk of gambling harm and addiction are protected.”

The Premier League is also collaborating with other sports to develop a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship.

The removal of gambling sponsorship from shirt fronts will come into effect at the end of the 2025/26 season, allowing clubs a grace period to transition away from their existing sponsorship agreements. 

Club bosses believe that the move is expected to have a significant impact on the visibility of gambling advertisements and could pave the way for other sports leagues to follow suit in promoting responsible gambling practices.

In a statement, the Premier League said, “Premier League clubs have today collectively agreed to withdraw gambling sponsorship from the front of clubs’ matchday shirts, becoming the first sports league in the UK to take such a measure voluntarily in order to reduce gambling advertising.”

Currently, eight Premier League clubs have shirt sponsorship agreements with gambling operators, including Aston Villa, Newcastle United, and Brentford. In its statement, the Premier League did not specify whether its phase-out would relate to other forms of sponsorship and marketing partnerships with bookmakers.   

By working with other sports leagues and organizations, the Premier League aims to establish a new standard for responsible gambling sponsorship practices, which could significantly impact the visibility of gambling advertisements and promote healthier relationships between sports and the gambling industry.

Gambling with Lives, who have led the ‘Big Step’ campaign to end English football’s relationship with gambling, welcomed the Premier League’s phase-out of sponsorships. However, the reform group emphasized that other forms of gambling promotion, such as pitch-side advertising and competition sponsorships, like the Sky Bet EFL, should also be further dropped.

“Just moving logos to a different part of the kit while allowing pitch-side advertising and league sponsorship to continue is totally incoherent.” -the group stated.

“Without government action on all forms of gambling ads in football, at every level, online casinos will exploit any voluntary measures and continue to market their products through our national sport.

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