In a new report from The Times, the British government will begin cracking down on clubs who don betting agencies on their playing kits.
The tightening of these screws could have serious implications for many clubs in the professional footballing landscape in the UK. A substantial percentage of teams in the Premier League and Championship (England’s second tier) use gambling organisations as their main sponsors.
West Ham United, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Everton FC, Norwich City FC and Watford are some of the high profile Premier League sides whose kits feature mainly betting or gambling agencies.
15 of the 24 teams in the Championship are in the same boat, including top teams such as Leeds United, Middlesborough, Stoke City, Swansea City and former Premier League champions Blackburn Rovers.
The further down the leagues you go, the more teams you’ll find who utilise gambling agencies as their major sponsors.
This news has surfaced following reports that the government will review the 2005 Gambling Act. It is expected that following the review, a domino effect will take place, which will impact some of these clubs.
The EFL, who looks after the Championship, League One and League Two, is itself sponsored by Sky Bet. They could suffer greatest from any reforms made by the government after their review.
In the first ever Premier League season back in 1992/1993, no team shared their shirts with gambling agencies as a form of sponsorship.
Sponsorships such as JVC’s with Arsenal, Carlsberg’s with Liverpool, Sharp’s with Manchester United and Newcastle Brown Ale’s with Newcastle United all stick vividly in the minds of Premier League fans to this day.
At the start of the 2010s, some clubs had cottoned on to the idea of attaining sponsorships with betting companies.
Soccer is one of the most popular sports to gamble on in the UK and many agencies generate significant amounts of revenue from games across numerous leagues, even the semi-professional ones.
The topic of gambling in sports is one that has generated much debate across the globe in the last few years.
In Australia especially, the discussion seems to circulate on an almost weekly basis.
On one hand, it is frowned upon when players, coaches or staff members get involved in bets for any matches. For example, in the AFL, Collingwood Magpies player Jaidyn Stephenson was banned for 10 games for gambling on AFL matches, including some he was playing in.
At the same time however, governing bodies continuously promote gambling with pre-game advertisements that display the odds and encourage people to gamble.
Some governing bodies even have sponsorships with betting agencies, whilst at the same time, trying to dissuade people from betting on matches.
On the other hand, many teams in the AFL are trying to escape the gambling industry and become independent without having to rely on gaming rooms and pokies.
This news came as a pleasant surprise for English soccer fans, with many rejoicing at the fact that something is being done after years of what they see as apathy.
Exclusive: End of the road looming for betting firms sponsoring football shirts as Government launches review of 2005 Gambling Act: https://t.co/NGJWMxCmYa
— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) January 14, 2020
Long overdue,its out of control
— Adam Barlow (@AdamPaulBarlow) January 14, 2020
Good. While they’re at it they can curb the endless betting ads on telly.
— Michael Sissons (@msissons) January 14, 2020
— Scott Purdue (@ScottPurdue8) January 14, 2020
What are your thoughts on the prospect of less teams being sponsored by betting agencies?
Are you glad something is being done by the British government? Will you be pleased by the potential return of less sponsors on teams shirts?
Are you against it? Or do you simply not mind, so long as you can watch your team play week in, week out?
Get involved in the discussion on Twitter @Soccersceneau. We’d love to hear your thoughts