A new UK study has taken the prevalence of gambling logos in football club programmes into the spotlight.
According to the research, conducted by Steve Sharman, Philip Newall, and Catia Alexandra Ferreira, almost 57% of the reviewed football clubs had an enormous presence of gambling logos in children-facing sections. The study focused on a total of 44 football clubs from the English Premier League (EPL) and the Championship and examined them for a period of 18 months. The results of the study showed that 56.8% of these clubs feature gambling signage, such as companies’ logos in their programs focusing on underage individuals.
Certain football clubs made efforts to improve the ad exposure per program from 2.3 to 1.3. However, the customers’ exposure to gambling firm logos rose. These findings came at a time when no less than 1.4 million people in the UK are currently experiencing some form of gambling-related harm, and a further 1.5 million are considered at risk of being affected by negative consequences associated with gambling.
This is the latest data regarding the consumer exposure to gambling signage and has been unveiled at a time when gambling and sports betting operators are awaiting the upcoming overhaul of the country’s gambling legislation, which is expected to affect the way how gambling companies display their logos on UK football clubs assets.
Full Extent of Potential Restrictions on Gambling Companies Partnerships with Football Clubs Remains to Be Seen
The UK Government is expected to officially unveil the White Paper from its review of the country’s gambling laws. According to expectations, it may seek to fully ban gambling companies from advertising their services with local football clubs, although sources close to BBC Sport have reported that such restrictions would apply only to clubs from the English Premier League.
The actual extent of the measures and potential limitations are still to be seen, with some analysts reporting that local lawmakers may want to find a balance between responsible gambling and the gambling sector’s business interests. The authors of the aforementioned study shared that the prevalence of ads featuring gambling companies’ signage in the children’s section is not normal. They also noted that only a definitive suspension on such deals would have the desired effects.
According to specialists, while the prevalence of gambling adverts can easily be proven through research, the causal link between problem gambling and gambling sponsorship deals is another issue that presents some serious challenges.
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) – the trade body that represents the licensed companies operating in the UK gambling sector – said that the regulated industry is providing both the country and a variety of sports programmes with substantial payments, with about £40 million being received by the English Football League alone.
Over the last few years, there have been some positive developments in the sector, such as the voluntary whistle-to-whistle ban that saw the number of gambling adverts seen by underage individuals reduced by approximately 100%. Another positive effect of some measures adopted by local policymakers is the fact that the number of gambling addicts in the UK has been reduced by half to 0.2% from the previously surveyed period when 0.4% of the country’s population was reported as problem gamblers.
Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.