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A Ban on Gambling Sponsorship Could be Heading for UK Sports

by Glenn Baird - December 4, 2020

The tide of change within the UK gambling industry is beginning to push hard, with a revised Gambling Act looking increasingly likely. However, despite the likelihood of this overhaul to UK gambling legislation there are calls for change now.

High up on that list is an end to gambling sponsorship in UK sports, closely followed by an online stakes limit.

A rigorous review of UK gambling legislation will begin next week, with serious consideration to be placed on banning the use of gambling sponsorship in sport.

The review will begin on Monday and will look to update parts of the Gambling Act that many campaigners and critics feel are no longer relevant to the world that we live in today.

  • The main points of consideration will include:
  • Limits on online stakes.
  • Tough affordability checks.
  • A testing regime for new products.
  • A sports sponsorship ban.
  • New powers to tackle the parallel market.

Whilst those in favour of tighter regulations will be pleased with the proposed depth of the review, including up to 50 MPs who have voiced their concerns over the increasing prevalence of problem gambling, casino operators will worry that the UK market runs the risk of becoming non profitable.

A large focus of the review will be online slots. The victory that campaigners led against Fixed Odds Betting Machines has recently turned its attention to the online world. Essentially, everything that was criticised about FOBMs can take the same form in an online slot game, with the added worry that they can be accessed more readily on mobile devices.

It is very likely that this review will recommend a similar limit of, perhaps, £2 per spin on such games.

However, the headline grabber in this review is possibility that sports sponsorship could come to an end.

Just this week we saw a Premier League side shake hands on a deal with a large betting company, proving that the gambling industry is still making inroads into UK sports sponsorship. The big worry for sport would be that decrease in revenue that this could bring, at a time when fans have been locked out of games and many smaller clubs and teams run the risk of going bust if further money streams are cut.

The other concern with such changes and tighter restrictions is the viability for smaller operators to exist in the UK. We have already seen Betsson pull all but one of their brands from the UK market, how many more will follow? This could in turn leave only a few remaining operators in the UK with less opportunity for diversity and competition.

Regardless of what decisions are made changes are coming to the UK and operator and consumers will need to brace themselves for that change.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.

Disclaimer:

The above information is what we believe to be the the legal status of online gambling, however information on this topic is limited and hard to find. We accept no liability for any errors or ommissions. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure that they know the legality of online gambling in their country before engaging with any online gambling service.