The EFL revealed a statement outlining its readiness to continue the dialogue with the Government and stakeholders regarding betting sponsorship. While outlining that it promotes responsible gambling, the League deemed the sponsorship contributions as an important and vital income stream.
EFL Reveals Statement on Gambling Sponsorship
Sunday, October 25, the English Football League (EFL) released a statement outlining it will continue its open dialogue with the stakeholders including the Government regarding the relationship of the gambling industry with football. According to the EFL statement, the league aims to “ensure its partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion“. The latest statement by the league comes at a time when Government officials are preparing the launch of the biggest changes in the UK gambling regulations since 2005.
Earlier this month, in an interview for Telegraph Sport, Labor MP Carolyn Harris revealed that she will call for stricter advertising regulations for sports and primarily football. “The evidence is there to show that advertising in sports, primarily football, is causing a problem for a generation of children coming up,” said Carolyn Harris.
Focusing on the last EFL season, we see that 16 out of the 24 Championships had betting partners. With that in mind, if the new rules call for a ban of shirt sponsorship – the EFL may be opposing strongly such restriction. Furthermore, the League asked Government officials last week to allow clubs to defer millions of pounds in tax payments. With this move by the EFL was looking to solve a £250 million funding issue.
Sponsorship Is Important and Vital Income for the League and Its Clubs
In its statement, the EFL deemed the association between football and the gambling sector as “long-standing”. At the same time, a collaborative and evidence-based approach is preventing gambling harm better than any “blanket ban” can do, said the League. Furthermore, the EFL stressed that it has collaborated with Sky Bet on a “highly visible awareness and education campaign” which promotes responsible gambling. “Players from all three divisions are wearing sleeve badges to encourage supporters to consider how they gamble,” said the League.
Another important topic which the League outlined in its statement is the contributions of betting companies to the League and its Clubs. According to the EFL, the ongoing financial contributions have helped the sustainability of professional football at all levels. The League added that in light of the COVID-19 impact, those contributions remain important now more than ever.
The EFL said that it will contribute to any call for evidence by the Government while acknowledging that the gambling sponsorship is under constant review. In conclusion, the League pointed out that it seeks to protect the sponsorship as it is “an important and vital income stream for our membership in a time of financial crisis.“