Sports sponsoring: ban in UK?

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Maximilian Deininger February 12, 2021

In Great Britain, a law is currently being debated that could ban gambling sponsorship in sport. According to the newspaper “The Times”, the British Ministry of Digital, Media and Sport checks the current gambling law from 2005 and is considering some drastic changes. For example, there should already be a corresponding draft law that could ban sports sponsorship by actors from the gambling industry on the British market. Although the changes of the applicable legal framework are still under discussion, the entry into force of the ban would add to many sports clubs in the United Kingdom.

As with many other clubs from the Premier League, West Ham United is also a gambling operator of the main sponsor. ((© Jonono / Pixabay)

Prohibition – football in focus

According to the current status, the planned change in the law would primarily affect football in Great Britain. Many clubs from the Premier League and the lower leagues would have to accept enormous financial losses if the sponsoring ban for gambling providers in the local sports industry should actually be pronounced. According to the “Times”, the draft law would come at a very unfavorable time, since the clubs had to deal with economic bottlenecks on all fronts due to the continuing Corona pandemic. If secure revenues are lost from sponsorship, some clubs would even To the edge of existence be pushed.

The clubs from the first two football leagues alone would be in the year a salary of around £ 110 million over the jersey sponsoring unite. West Ham United is with the greatest financial profiteer. The club from the East End Londons receives 10 million British pounds from the online bookmaker “Betway” per season. Newcastle United and FC Burnely also receive millions of millions. The latter is supported by the gaming company “Lovebet” annually with £ 7.5 million. Newcastle receives around 6.5 million British pounds through the sponsoring contract with the “Fun88” company.

Football clubs are under pressure. The potential change in the law surrounding gambling sponsorship in sport is not the only topic that ensures worry lines on the forehead at the football clubs from Great Britain. According to matching media reports, some clubs from the Premier League, English Football League and the Scottish Premiership should have been under pressure for some time. A few days ago, eleven clubs had received a letter from 50 people who have suffered gambling addiction in the past. It would be criticized that the respective teams would promote gambling through their social media channels and thus fuel the potential risk of gambling addiction. Among the affected clubs were also larger names such as Manchester City FC and FC Arsenal London.

Tobacco sponsoring: history repeats itself

The planned draft law could initiate a chapter in British sport that has already taken place in a similar execution. Before the triumphal march of the gambling and betting industry, it was the tobacco industry that was sponsored with a large budget in Great Britain. The individual companies invest millions in the associations for their marketing before the European Union obtained a ban on this type of sponsoring in 2005. the Guidelines still apply today And are so strictly formulated that even via the print media, the radio and over the Internet, no advertising for any form of tobacco may be switched.

Comparison to tobacco advertising. In the current debate about the ban on gambling in British sport, the comparison to the tobacco industry is always used. However, providers and experts from the gaming industry are vehemently defending themselves against this cross -comparison, since tobacco is a harmful product. According to the industry representatives, responsible gambling is not dangerous for their own health.

Advertising ban too for USA?

Not only in the United Kingdom is a current issue in sports. On the European continent, the governments of the individual states deal intensively with the Advertising activities of the gambling industry. Corresponding measures already apply in Spain, which, among other things, completely prohibit sponsorship in sport. In addition, the broadcast times on the Internet, radio and TV were limited. Advertising spots and banner may only be broadcast or shown between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

There are no such extreme restrictions in USA, but the Gambling State Treaty (GlüStV) also change a lot in this country in terms of advertising. From July 1st, athletes will be prohibited as Brand ambassadors for companies from the gaming industry to serve. In the fifth paragraph of the new GlüstVS, it states that advertising activities of individual active players go beyond jersey advertising are inadmissible for concrete gambling products. Well -known personalities from the sports world such as Oliver Kahn to be affected. The official of FC Bayern Munich has been the advertising view of the sports betting provider “Tipico” for years.