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Gambling companies side-stepping ad ban by sponsoring football teams

10 August 2018
Gambling companies s

Betting companies are side-stepping the ban on advertising to children by sponsoring football clubs and putting their logos on team shirts, public policy charity CARE warned today.

With the new season kicking off tonight (Friday, August 10), the scale of gambling advertising across England’s top two leagues has been revealed.

Just under half – 9 out of 20 Premier League teams and 17 out of 24 (70 per cent) of teams in the Championship are sponsored by gambling companies.

In total, across the top two leagues in the UK 60 per cent of teams will have gambling companies as their sponsors.

Between Friday 10 August and the end of November almost two thirds of televised Premier League matches will feature teams with gambling advertising on their shirts. 37 games out of 59.

While gambling companies are not allowed to target children with their advertisements, their logos are emblazoned across children’s footballing hero’s chests without proper context.

The problem is made more acute because under current industry regulations, sport betting ads can be shown around broadcast sporting events before the 9pm watershed.

According to Gambling Commission figures there are 430,000 adult problem gamblers in the UK with hundreds of thousands more at risk of the problem.

There are also estimated to be 370,000 11-16 year olds who gamble on a weekly basis with 25,000 of them classed as problem gamblers.

Today CARE is calling for the 9pm watershed to be extended to cover sport betting ads and the charity is also calling for a wider public debate on football’s relationship with the gambling industry.

CARE’s Chief Executive Nola Leach said:

“Sponsoring football shirts is a way that bookmakers can side-step the ban on advertising to children.

“Betting ads on sports shirts is highly irresponsible because it normalises gambling to a very young audience.

“Shown completely without context, these shirts are on the backs of children's favourite players and this creates the illusion that gambling is harmless, fun and without consequences. We know that is not the case.

“This problem is only made worse by the fact the 9pm watershed does not apply to sport betting ads when sporting events are broadcast.

“During the recent World Cup people were rightly dismayed by the sheer number of gambling ads being shown during afternoon games and throughout the Tournament.

“It is time we had a serious public debate about the troubling nature of the gambling industry’s relationship with football.

“We have an epidemic of child problem gamblers in Britain and for the sake of protecting them and other problem gamblers surely we have to question whether the Premier League and other footballing authorities are doing enough to raise awareness of the risks associated with gambling.”


Notes to editors:

For more information and interview requests please contact Rachael Adams: // 07581153693

The tables below show 9 out of 24 (45%) of Premier League teams and 17 out of 24 (71%) of Championship League teams are sponsored by gambling companies. Combined this is 60 per cent of teams across England’s top two leagues.

Premier League Team Sponsorship
Arsenal Emirates
Bournemouth Mansion 88
Brighton and Hove Albion American Express
Burnley LaBa360
Cardiff City Visit Malaysia
Chelsea Yokohama
Crystal Palace ManBetX
Everton SportPesa
Fulham Dafabet
Huddersfield Town OPE Sports
Leicester City King Power
Liverpool Chartered Standard
Manchester City Etihad Airways
Manchester United Chevrolet
Newcastle United Fun88
Southampton Virgin Media
Tottenham Hotspur AIA
Watford FxPro
West Ham United Betway
Wolverhapton Wonderers W88

Championship League Teams Sponsorship
Aston Villa 32Red
Birmingham 888 Sport
Blackburn 10Bet
Bolton BetFred
Brentford LeoVegas
Bristol City Dunder
Derby 32Red
Hull SportPesa
Ipswich Magical Vegas
Leeds 32Red
Middlesbrough 32Red
Millwall TW Drainage
Norwich LeoVegas
Nottingham Forest Betbright
Preston 32Red
QPR Royal Panda
Reading Carabao energy drink
Rotherham Hodge Clemco
Sheffield United Ramsden Currency
Sheffield Wednesday Chansiri
Stoke Bet 365
West Brom Ideal Boilers
Wigan DW Fitness First

New report highlights gambling is being normalised for young people - CARE

UK gambling industry now takes £14bn a year from punters – report – The Guardian

New Research Lays Bare Public’s Frustration with the Gambling Industry - CARE

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