Should there be a football shirt gambling sponsorship ban?
The Labour Party Shadow Sports Secretary Tom Watson has called for a football shirt gambling sponsorship ban which would prevent gambling firms from displaying their logos on football shirts.
The past few years has seen a surge in the number of gambling firms advertising through the sport. Currently 25 of the 92 UK league clubs are involved in promoting gambling firms. Of that, 20 of the Premier League football teams are involved. Tom Watson has called for change.
He claims that 430,000 people in the UK are problem gamblers and it is wrong for young football fans to be exposed to the logos of betting firms on football shirts. He says clubs should take their lead from the Football Association which ended a commercial agreement in June this year. The FA decided it was no longer appropriate.
The FA currently prohibits under 18 teams from logos of gambling firms because they claim it is detrimental the welfare, health or the general interest of young persons. Under 18’s are not permitted to gamble in the UK.
Tom Watson referred to a report from the UK Gambling Commission which estimated the 430,000 people in the UK were problem gamblers. The report also said more than two million people are either suffering from a serious gambling habit, or at risk of a gambling addiction. Tom Watson said Britain has to play a part in tackling gambling addiction.
Fair comment, but what about pitch side advertising by gambling firms. The visual effect of that is probably far worse, we suggest.
But, what if gambling advertising was taken out of the equation? Firstly what would result from the loss of revenue to the football clubs? Is there any evidence that gambling advertising in sport is as damaging as Tom Watson thinks?
Perhaps the growth in sport betting is why the gambling advertisers are so keen to participate. More information is required to assess the effects of gambling advertising in sport. It is not as clear-cut as the argument for banning tobacco advertising which generated massive support and the eventual blanket ban.
I would like to see more evidence to support a football shirt gambling sponsorship ban. The role of the FA is not yet fully clear in this.
Read more about Premier League Gambling Sponsorship
Source: ITV News