Premier League’s new chief executive Richard Masters has insisted that the league will resist changes that would prevent betting companies from sponsoring football shirts, as reported by the Guardian.
The relationship between sporting organisations and the gambling industry has been a major topic of conversation over the last few years, as an increasing number of sports teams are inking sponsorship agreements with betting firms.
In his interview with The Guardian, Masters stated: “We’re not sniffy or judgemental about gambling at all. As you know, sport and gambling have a long association.
“The Premier League doesn’t have partnerships with gambling companies, we don’t sell watching bet rights, but it’s up to our clubs whether they want to have their own gambling relationships. All of them do, and a number of them are on the shirt front.”
As promised by the Conservative Party in its 2019 Party Manifesto, the 2005 Gambling Act is due to come under review from the government, which will focus upon adapting the legislation to a more technology orientated society. However, there may be the possibility of tightening football and betting regulations, with the last major UK betting review taking place 19 years ago.
With reference to this, Masters emphasised: “We’ll be welcome participants in that. I think this area does need stronger governance, particularly to protect the vulnerable. I don’t think the answer coming out at the end of it should be that football clubs shouldn’t have shirts sponsored by gambling companies, but we will certainly cooperate with the review.”
Currently 10 Premier League football clubs are sponsored by gambling operators, including the likes of West Ham United (Betway), Wolves (ManBetX) and Norwich (Dafabet).