APPG to call for gambling ad ban in sports

APPG Sports Gambling Ad Ban

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) will recommend that the UK government bans all gambling advertising within sports, according to reports. 

The Daily Mail reported yesterday that the year-long research will conclude that shirt sponsorships, stadium gambling ads and more should be prohibited. 

Findings are expected to be published by the APPG next Tuesday, following research that identified the impact of gambling-related harm within communities. 

10 of the Premier League’s 20 clubs have gambling operators on their shirts, as do 17 of this season’s 24 Championship sides. 

What has the report said? 

Sportsmail claims that it has seen the report already. According to the online and print newspaper, the APPG’s findings have the following to say. 

“There is now an inextricable link between gambling and sports that has led many to rightly talk of the “gamblification of sport”.  

“Young people are at football matches not enjoying the game but engaged in a 90 minute non-stop high-speed gambling experience, live betting on the next goal or corner.” 

The APPG has also scrutinised the video game FIFA, which is released annually and developed by EA Sports. On this game, licensed football clubs have their official kits on the game. Since it is rated suitable for audiences aged three and above, youngsters are exposed to gambling operators’ logos. 

“It is imperative that gambling advertising is also banned in online games which young children are playing often for many hours daily,” it said. 

In addition to shirt and stadium sponsorships, the report will also suggest that online and TV gambling ads are outlawed. 

Even though the UK gambling industry introduced a voluntary “whistle-to-whistle” ad ban last summer, the report still believes that more needs to be done.

“The sector urgently needs to adopt a more responsible approach on advertising, particularly during sports programmes in order to protect children and the vulnerable.”

“We welcomed the “whistle to whistle” television advertising ban. Yet, for the advertising ban to be truly effective, these companies need to go even further to include shirt and league sponsorship and digital advertising around a pitch. Otherwise, children and vulnerable adults will continue to be bombarded with gambling adverts.”

“Concerned” about the impact of gambling 

Gambling sponsorships in the Premier League isn’t anything new. Seven clubs had operators on the front of the shirts in 2009/10, which has risen to 10 this year.

In the Championship, however, the jump has been much bigger. Three clubs in the second tier were properly sponsored by betting operators 10 seasons ago. West Brom could count as a fourth; they had a number of different shirt sponsors that campaign, including SBOBET and Blue Square Bet. Now, however, all but seven of this season’s clubs have a gambling shirt sponsor. 

Labour MP Carolyn Harris, who is also Chair of the APPG, spoke to Sportsmail about her thoughts on gambling in football. She said the following. 

“We are particularly concerned about the impact that gambling advertising can have on children and vulnerable people.  

“It normalises and glamorises gambling and children are exposed to gambling advertising through all mediums including on football shirts, hoardings and in games such as FIFA.

“Self-regulation by the industry has not worked and gambling advertising across all mediums should be banned.” 

The APPG’s scheduled report publishing comes in the midst of the Premier League and Championship season resumptions, with the former returning tonight. This will involve a congested fixture list over the summer, with increased exposure for sponsors. 

Every Premier League game between now and the end of the season will be televised, with supporters not allowed to attend due to health-related concerns.