English Football League hits out at gambling sponsorship ban

After CAP’s proposal to introduce a ban on gambling ads, The English Football League challenge the prospect of a blanket ban on gambling sponsorships 

In addition to the UK Committees of Advertising Practice proposed rule on gambling adverts, there is pressure from multiple groups for more action, this time regarding gambling sponsorships in football. The groups pushing for action are spearheaded by the House of Lords Select Committee and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling Related Harm. 

In response to this pressure, the EFL has come out and criticized these proposals as they will have a huge negative impact on the football clubs, outside the Premier League, since sponsorships are a major source of income. Gambling sponsorships in the EFL account for more than £40 million each season EFLto the organization and its football clubs. In a statement the EFL said, “With over £40 million a season paid by the sector to the League and its Clubs, the significant contribution betting companies make to the ongoing financial sustainability of professional football at all levels is as important now as it has ever been, particularly given the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which is leaving many of our Clubs living on a financial knife edge.” 

“At the same time our Members, who contribute almost £500m annually to the Exchequer, has its core income stream of ticket sales turned off indefinitely without any indication of a roadmap that will allow the safe return of supporters to stadiums, despite other sectors being able to welcome people through their doors. They are also continuing to meet their financial obligations in the absence of similar levels of support being afforded to other industries.” 

The EFL has instead proposed an evidence-based approach rather than taking the drastic measure of a blanket ban on gambling sponsorships as the EFL believe that this type of collaborative work will be far more beneficial. 

Furthermore, the EFL has pointed out how its sponsorship deal with Flutter, who are a Sky Bet brand, constantly promotes responsible gambling by having the players wear sleeve badges to take into consideration how they gamble. Sky Bet also practice responsible gambling as 70% of its matchday inventory is assigned to safe gambling messages. 

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