BrandArena: Why British MPs are pressing for betting advertising ban in UK sports stadiums

Sunday 31 December 2023

Why British MPs are pressing for betting advertising ban in UK sports stadiums

British Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged the Premier League and other sports groups to restrict the number of gambling advertisements in stadiums and other venues, as part of a broader demand to the UK government to limit children's exposure to gambling.

A Culture, Media, and Sport select committee has stated that the English Premier League's voluntary ban on betting companies sponsoring matchday shirts does not go far enough.

According to the committee, front-of-shirt sponsorship accounts for only 7% of all visible gambling branding during a televised football match, implying that the prohibition, which is set to take effect in 2026, will have little influence.

MPs recommend that the new gambling sponsorship code of conduct the Government proposes to develop with sports governing bodies should include provisions to reduce gambling adverts in stadiums and require that a higher proportion of advertising is dedicated to safer gambling messaging.

There should, however, be a distinct approach to gambling sponsorship and advertising for horseracing and greyhound racing, given their close and long-standing relationships with betting.

“While gambling regulation should not overly impinge on the freedom to enjoy what is a problem-free pastime for the majority, more should be done to shield both children and people who have experienced problem gambling from what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events. The Government needs to go further than the proposals in the White Paper and work with sports governing bodies on cutting the sheer volume of betting adverts people are being exposed to,” Culture Media and Sport, Chair, Dame Caroline Dinenage MP, said.

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