A group of MPs has called for the Premier League and other sporting bodies to reduce the number of gambling adverts in stadiums.
This comes after eight Premier League clubs featured gambling companies on the front of their shirts due to partnership deals worth an estimated combined £60m per year.
The cross-party Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee has called for a reduction in gambling ads in a new report in order “to shield children from exposure” to betting companies’ logos, reports the BBC.
The parliamentary group’s chair, Dame Caroline Dinenage, stated that “more should be done…[over] what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events.”
Current efforts don’t go far enough
The Premier League already agreed to a groundbreaking deal in April of this year, cementing a plan to prevent gambling sponsorships on the front of match shirts by the end of the 2025-26 season. However, the CMS Committee is pushing for more action, stating that this will “not significantly reduce the volume of betting adverts visible during a game.”
Namely, clubs have various other avenues to promote gambling companies prominently, such as on shirt sleeves and with LED perimeter advertising.
The CMS report cites a recent study showing that front-of-shirt gambling branding accounted for just 7% of all gambling advertising visible during ten broadcast matches. In total, almost 7,000 gambling messages could be seen during just six games during the season’s opening weekend.
To combat this wealth of messaging, the MPs recommend a fresh code of conduct for sporting bodies, including a provision to reduce gambling adverts and dedicate space to messaging around safer gambling. The committee challenges a white paper published earlier this year that avoided defined rules around advertising. Although not calling for a total ban, the CMS maintains that “there is still scope for further regulation.”
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