Will 2024 be the Year the Premier League Clamps Down on Gambling?
Gambling on football is hugely popular and millions of football fans around the world like to have a bet on the beautiful game. Some people treat their gambling seriously, study all the statistics and bet on the Premier League to make a profit. Others like to have a small bet on the weekend for fun and some fans like to bet on their own team. There is no doubt gambling on the Premier League is big business but will 2024 be the year the Premier League clamps down on gambling?
Gambling in the Premier League
Gambling features heavily in the Premier League and you only must look at the advertising boards around the pitch to see the names of betting brands. Online gambling brands pay a lot of money to feature on the advertising boards and it is a strong revenue stream for the league and the clubs. When Premier League matches are shown live on television, there are often advertisements for gambling, some of which are directly linked to the match being shown, including odds for the outcome of the game. Shirt sponsorship is another example of gambling in the Premier League and many clubs have signed deals with gambling companies to have their logo splashed across the front of the shirt.
Many people have raised concerns about gambling sponsorship in the Premier League, especially as children like to watch the matches. Proposals have been formed to reform gambling laws in the United Kingdom that would have an impact on the Premier League. The proposals are believed to include a ban on Premier League clubs having gambling brands on their shirts. In the 2022/23 Premier League season, 8 teams have gambling sponsors on their shirt, with Stake.com and Betway, both of which offer slots, table games, and live casino games, being just two examples. There has been talk of a voluntary ban on gambling companies as a shirt sponsor which could come into place before the government announce their measures. However, with the government continually delaying their white paper, it has allowed Premier League clubs to sign deals with gambling brands for their shirts, with Fulham, Bournemouth, and Everton signing new deals.
Will the Premier League Step In?
While the wait continues for the government to act, the Premier League could implement their own gambling measures. Prior to the 2022/23 season, the Premier League clubs were due to vote on the future of gambling companies being used as a sponsor on the front of shirts. However, like the delay in the government white paper, the vote was postponed and Richard Masers, the chief executive of the Premier League, blamed the government for the delay. It is believed any ban on the gambling sponsorship of football shirts would be phased in over a few years to give clubs time to negotiate new deals with other companies. The gambling industry gives plenty of money to the Premier League thanks to sponsorship and advertising and it remains unclear if 2024 is going to be any different.
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