SBC News Clubs to vote on betting sponsor phase-out after Premier League request

Clubs to vote on betting sponsor phase-out after Premier League request

The 20 clubs of the English Premier League are holding a vote on whether or not to phase out gambling sponsorship deals, according to the BBC

Reports from the national broadcaster this afternoon stated that the top-flight had requested its teams to hold the vote ahead of the 2005 Gambling Act review White Paper – expected for publication later this month. 

At least 14 clubs will need to vote in favour of the Premier League’s plans, under which betting shirt sponsorships will be gradually removed over a three year period. 

The presence of betting company logos has become a contentious issue throughout the DCMS’ review of Britain’s gambling legislation, with campaigners repeatedly calling for an outright ban extending beyond the first division to the lower leagues.

Ministers were, however, reportedly wary of introducing a far reaching ban due to the extensive fiscal support lower league and non-league clubs receive from gambling – Boreham Wood FC CEO Charlie Hunter outlined the role LV BET’s financial backing had played for the club in an interview earlier this year for example. 

Campaigners were further disheartened by reports in The Times and the Daily Mail last week that the Premier League sponsorship ban was to be significantly watered down, with clubs merely encouraged to put such arrangements aside. 

The confidence of some top-flight clubs in the continued sustainability – at least in the short term – of betting partnerships was evidenced by Bourmoueth’s collaboration with Dafabet and Everton’s deal with Stake.com, although the latter was met with fan backlash. 

Last Friday, Sky News sources informed the outlet that the Premier League had suggested a compromise to the DCMS in place of an outright ban on betting partnerships, which would see firm logos removed from the front of team jerseys but remain on sleeves. 

According to the network, DCMS Minister Chris Philp was considering the proposal – however, nothing is concrete as of yet, with the government due to make its decision on a ban by 21 July. 

The BBC was unable to secure a comment from the Premier League, but a DCMS statement read: “We are undertaking the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years to make sure they are fit for the digital age.

“We will publish a white paper which sets out our vision for the sector in the coming weeks.”

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