By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw
The UK Government is considering banning betting sponsorship in football as part of its current review of the Gambling Act of 2005.
This has sparked alarm in football circles as many clubs depend upon such sponsorship in many cases for their financial survival.
For example, according to Rick Parry, the Chairman of the English Football League, which is sponsored by Sky Bet, such a ban would cost the League £40 million a year.
In fact, he says that such a ban would lead to some of its 72 member clubs “to go under”.
And added that “it is not easy finding new sponsors at the moment.”
A ban on sponsorship by betting companies would also affect English Premier League Clubs.
For example, West Ham United has a shirt sponsorship deal with Betway, which is worth £10 million per season.
In the English Premier League, 8 clubs have betting companies on their shirts and 17 out of the 20 members have betting partners, who have, for example, perimeter advertising at stadiums.
In the English Championship League, 10 clubs out of its 24 members have shirt sponsorships by betting companies, but that number increases when betting partners are taken into account.
Sponsorship of kids’ shirts by betting companies is not allowed.
Although, according to the Gambling Commission, the latest figures show a drop in problem gamblers in England, gambling is still a social issue resulting in addictions, which, in turn, have led to debt problems and, in some cases, suicides.
Clearly, a blanket ban on betting sponsorship would spell financial disaster for football, but is it possible to strike a happy medium with some kind of partial ban?
This, of course, is not an easy question to answer!
Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘
Sports Law & Taxation features: articles; comparative surveys; commentaries on topical sports legal and tax issues and documentation.
The unique feature of Sports Law & Taxation is that this Journal combines up-to-date valuable and must-have information on the legal and tax aspects of sport and their interrelationships.
Global Sports Law and Taxation Reports feature: articles; comparative surveys; commentaries on topical sports legal and tax issues and documentation.
The unique feature of Global Sports Law and Taxation Reports is that this Journal combines for the first time up to-date valuable and must-have information on the legal and tax aspects of sport and their interrelationships.
The editors of the Journal Sports Law & Taxation are Professor Ian Blackshaw and Dr Rijkele Betten, with specialist contributions from the world's leading practitioners and academics in the sports law and taxation fields.
Dr. Rijkele Betten
Prof. Dr. Ian S. Blackshaw
Prof. Guglielmo Maisto
Maisto e Associati, Milano
Mr. Kevin Offer
Hardwick & Morris LLP, London
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