Gambling has never been seen in a positive light by authorities because of its inherent nature. While there can be phenomenal gains in the process, the losses can be just as heavy. It is also addictive and tends to reduce the productivity of the affected individual.
Actions to Regulate Gambling
The government is in the process of reviewing gambling as an activity and some of the possible changes in the law in this respect are expected to be as below:
Stringent limits on stakes for online slots
An upper limit on how much a user can lose per month
Products to be tested for addictiveness before release
No permission for sports sponsorships; could specifically apply to shirt sponsorships
New restrictions on online marketing and enticing bonuses to be scrapped
A support system to be set up to help those adversely affected
Modification in minimum age bar for games like fruit machines and penny pushers
Introduction of new powers to take on the black marketers
Association Between Gambling and Sports
Betting companies are major sponsors for Premier League and EFL clubs. Their total contribution as Premier League sponsors is close to 70 million Pounds just for shirt sponsorships, i.e., for their logos to be displayed on the shirts of the players of a team. An additional 40 million Pounds is contributed by them towards the EFL Clubs for commercial deals. Thus, the total annual contribution of betting companies as sponsors towards these organisations is 110 million Pounds, which is indeed huge.
Betting Companies As Major Sponsors
Some of the major contributors to the sponsorship packages for the premier league clubs are Betway (West Ham United), SportPesa (Everton), ManBetX (Wolves, Crystal Palace), LoveBet (Burnley), Fun88 (Newcastle United), Sportsbet.io (Watford), W88 (Aston Villa) and Dafabet (Norwich City).
Scope of Sponsorships by Betting Companies
The logos of the betting companies can be seen on the front of the players’ shirts for many of the top teams and there are very few that have absolutely no association with gambling. At least eight of the top 20 clubs rely on the sponsorships from companies associated with betting and gambling. Currently, the sponsorship packages include the presence of the logo at the front or on the sleeves of the players’ shirts, pitchside hoardings, sponsorships of training kits and partnerships.
Impact of the Laws on Premier League Sponsorships
If the review is accepted and the laws against shirt sponsorship enforced, these clubs will lose nothing less than 70 million pounds of sponsorship. Another 40 million that is generated through commercial arrangements and sponsorships could also be at stake. With the proposed laws, there is a chance that they may not be permitted to advertise on the hoardings anywhere in the proximity of sports venues.
The Clubs in a Fix
The purpose of the review is to protect the vulnerable from getting trapped into gambling, which is certainly a good cause. The sports teams are, however, going to be adversely affected as they will need to find another source for funding their games. The pandemic has affected their finances as well and it will not be easy to manage.
The sports clubs are in a situation of panic and hoping that the implementation of the review if passed, will not be immediate. They will need time to look for an alternative before their source of income is taken away. The betting companies sponsor many sports other than football and the impact on those also could be harsh. The sports clubs are now waiting to hear the verdict that could change their lives.
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