Football clubs are going to be prohibited from signing sponsorship deals of shirts with betting firms under a Labor government, as the party is pledging on tackling addiction, a hidden epidemic, and protect kids from being exposed to gambling at an early age.
Deputy leader Tom Watson unveiled the policy, and it’s known as the beginning of a string of proposals restricting the power of gambling companies, increasing the amount of pressure on the government before its review of the industry. Tom, who’s also the sport, culture media, and digital shadow minister stated that a Labor government was going to encourage the Football Association (FA) to implement its ban but was ready to legislate if necessary.
He said that football has to play a role in tackling the gambling addiction hidden epidemic in Britain. Shirt sponsorship is sending out a message showing that football clubs do not take the problem of gambling among their fans seriously enough. It’s putting brands of gambling in front of football fans of all ages, on matches and broadcasts plus highlights packages; on commercial television as well as the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation).
Nine of the twenty football clubs in the Premier League, including Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle, have sponsorship deals of shirts with gambling firms worth a combined 47.3 million pounds this season alone. Additionally, sixteen clubs in England’s third and second tiers have same deals, in most cases with companies that do comparatively little business in the United Kingdom but they are using the Premier League’s global popularity in wooing customers of Asia and other places.
The rules of the FA are already prohibiting the teams of youths from wearing clothing displaying products regarded as detrimental to the general interests, health, or welfare of young persons, and this includes gambling. Sources of Labour pointed out that the logic of FA should extend a large number of children who also watch football. Recently, the Football Association announced that it was terminating its sponsorship deals with all the betting companies and has ended a contract with Ladbrokes that is worth nearly £ 4 million a year.
Also, Tom drew a comparison with the laws that were passed in the year 2005 to stop cigarette companies from sponsoring sporting events because of the harm that smoking could cause. Tom said that the figures from the Gambling Commission (responsible for regulating as well as supervising gaming law), indicated that in August there was an increase in the problem gamblers number up to 430,000; meaning that football should disassociate itself from the industry.
A Recent study by academics at the Goldsmiths, University of London, showed that gambling is now completely connected to football that TV watchers can’t avoid the branding of the industry, even if they do not watch commercial television. In a three-episode study in the Match of the Day, a flagship football highlights programme on BBC, researchers at the Goldsmiths, University of London, in London, England, found that gambling branding or logos was appearing on screen for between 71 percent and 89 percent of the running time of the show.
Despite the fact that the telecommunications company, Sky, broadcasts advert, the study showed that in certain cases the screen time percentage enjoyed by gambling companies through a live football transmission was found to be as low as 68 percent.
Another game, between Liverpool and n West Ham, featured some gambling advert for 88 percent of the programme. Professor Rebecca Cassidy pointed to Australia’s harsher regime, where adverts about gambling, were recently banned during the sports events that are shown before the watershed.
In early November, the DCMS is scheduled to publish a report detailing the proposals of government on controversial fixed-odds betting terminals and gambling advertising.
Tracey Crouch, the sports minister, is known to be keen on implementing tough measures on FOBTs (fixed odds betting terminals) in particular, but she’s facing opposition, particularly from the Treasury, which is conscious of the result of each new restriction on tax payments from the gambling firms.