U.K. Sports Teams Likely to Lose Front-of-Shirt Gambling Sponsors

    • A review in the U.K. will likely ban front-of-shirt gambling sponsors in the U.K.
    • There are reportedly 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK.

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The U.K. government is getting closer to finalizing its gambling review, with multiple sources reporting this week that it will likely result in the ban of gambling sponsorships from sports jerseys.

The review is looking at reforming the Gambling Act of 2005 — there are reportedly 400,000 problem gamblers in the UK — as well as “white label deals,” which are considered a loophole as overseas betting companies can form sponsorships with U.K.-based soccer clubs by paying another firm to use their license, avoiding government check-ins.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appointed a new gambling minister this week, “thought to be keen on reform,” according to the Daily Mail.

If the ban is finalized, it would have a huge impact on the sports market in Europe. Gambling logos appear up to 700 times per match.

  • The English Football League, which oversees the three professional tiers under the top, said last year that revenue generated from the gambling industry could be “vital” in recovering from pandemic losses, and the ruling could cause some clubs “to go under.”
  • This season, nine Premier League clubs, or 45% of the league, have front-of-shirt sponsorships with gambling companies, which are worth a combined $79.22 million.
  • La Liga was told to drop betting deals by the end of the 2020-2021 season. The league’s president said that teams would lose a combined $105 million.

Gambling companies expect branding in venues could be affected, too.

The review is not expected to be published until this winter, and then would need a three-month consultation period before heading to Parliament. If the changes go through, they would likely not take effect until 2023.