July 4, 2023 3 min read

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FSA Study Shows Soccer Fans Worry about Clubs’ Gambling Ties

The results of a new study reveal that an overwhelming majority of soccer fans in the country are concerned about the gambling advertising and sponsorship by professional soccer clubs

Ahead of the imminent changes to the regulatory landscape in the UK that will ban gambling sponsorships in a few years, a new study reveals that a majority of soccer fans are concerned about the exposure of gambling via such deals. In light of the much-anticipated release of the White Paper on the Gambling Act in the country, leading soccer clubs vowed to support a voluntary front-of-shirt gambling sponsorships ban.

The goal is for the ban to be implemented effectively with the start of the 2027 season, granting enough time for new and existing deals between soccer clubs and gambling companies to expire. Despite the voluntary support of the ban, some clubs have already penned new deals with gambling operators.

Now, the Football Supporters’ Association (FSA), the representative body for the supporters of soccer in England and Wales, published details regarding a new study that probed into the opinions of fans of the sport. The new study included a variety of statements with which fans had to disagree, agree or stay neutral.

Judging by the study, an overwhelming majority of the interviewed fans, which were approximately 10,000, showed that they are concerned with gambling advertising within the sport. Some 73.1% of the fans supported a statement that they are concerned about the “amount of gambling advertising and sponsorship” within the sport.

Additionally, 88.2% of the fans supported the idea of an independent regulator that ensures soccer clubs “are run sustainably.” On the other hand, nearly half of the fans, or 46.9%, admitted that they feel like their favorite soccer club cares about their views.

Gambling Front-of-Shirt Sponsorships Face Criticism

The opinion of soccer fans from FSA’s latest study comes at a time when clubs are facing criticism for their ongoing and new deals with betting and gaming companies. Only recently, Aston Villa FC, the famous English Premier League (EPL) soccer team joined forces with BK8, a leading online gambling company.

That move immediately faced criticism by the Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust, which issued a statement confirming their disappointment with the club’s decision to team up with BK8, designating the gambling company as its front-of-shirt sponsor for the next three seasons.

Shortly after, SBOTOP, the global betting brand, signed a front-of-shirt sponsorship agreement with Fulham Football Club, the famous professional soccer club. At the time, the team’s commercial director, Jon Don-Carolis, explained that the new deal will help play “an integral part in keeping the Club competitive through significant revenue.”

Yet, judging by FSA’s study, there is a majority of soccer fans that are concerned about gambling sponsorships despite the plans of professional clubs to end them in a few years.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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