British MPs vote for betting advertising ban in UK sports stadiums
The UK government’s Culture, Media, and Sport Committee is urging the Premier League and sports governing bodies to slash the volume of gambling ads within stadiums to protect children from exposure to betting logos and subsequent gambling.
In the announcement, the parliamentary group’s, Dame Caroline Dinenage, insisted that “more should be done…[over] what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events”.
Although eight Premier League clubs carry gambling brands on their shirts in deals worth an estimated £60 million per year, agreements have been reached to phase out these sponsorships by the end of the 2025-26 season.
That said, the cross-party committee noted that the move won’t significantly reduce the overall volume of betting adverts, as clubs can still display betting sponsor logoa on shirt sleeves and LED perimeter advertising.
Additionally, the committee critiqued the “whistle-to-whistle” TV advert ban as ineffective, given the pervasive exposure to advertisements within stadiums and on screens during live matches.
The MPs proposed a gambling sponsorship code to curtail stadium adverts and allocate more space for responsible gambling messages.
They criticised the delayed release of this code and advocate for immediate publication by relevant sporting bodies, urging government intervention if necessary.
While supporting the gambling white paper’s approach to minimise harm without overly restricting freedoms, the committee emphasised the need for stricter regulations on advertising, suggesting different regulations for horse and greyhound racing in the process due to their historical betting ties.
Dinenage said: “More should be done to shield both children and people who have experienced problem gambling from what often seems like a bombardment of advertising branding at football and other sporting events”.
The Premier League and government are collaborating to create a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship, but the committee asserts that more stringent measures are essential.