October 9, 2023 3 min read


UK to Investigate the Effect of Gambling Sponsorships on Public Health

The results are expected to spark further debate around the future of sponsorships in the country

Several of the United Kingdom’s most noteworthy universities will probe into the alleged links between gambling sponsorships and public health. Dubbed “Kicking the Habit: Historicising “Addictive” Sport Sponsorship in Britain,” the research will receive £1.6 million in financial backing from the Welcome Institute.

According to the announcement, the study will see the University of Nottingham, the University of Glasgow and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine join forces to study the impact of gambling sponsorship.

The research comes in the wake of the launch of the white paper, which failed to sufficiently address sponsorships in professional sports, according to researchers. The Historicising “Addictive” Sport Sponsorship in Britain research will therefore see if further reforms are needed.

Many expected the white paper proposals to include a ban on ads but the Premier League’s decision to willingly forfeit front-of-shirt sponsorships eventually convinced lawmakers not to.

The research will see researchers examine the links between the gambling industry and professional sports over a ten-year period. The sporting leagues’ ties to the alcohol and tobacco industry will also be scrutinized.

Hopefully, the experts will be able to identify if and how addictive industries and their relationship with sports are affecting public health in the UK. The publication of the results is expected to spark further debate around the future of sponsorships in the country.

The Research Has an Important Task

Representatives of the involved schools shared their thoughts on the matter with Anna Greenwood, professor of health history at the University of Nottingham, expressing her excitement to be able to work on the project. According to her, the study will “show just how important historical precedents have been in shaping contemporary responses to sports sponsorship by unhealthy industries”

Alex Mold, associate professor in history at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said that alcohol, tobacco and gambling can all cause harm if enjoyed without moderation.

But these products, and the industries that lie behind them, are also different. By exploring their histories, we will explain why and show how this continues to matter today.

Alex Mold, associate professor in history, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Finally, Heather Wardle, professor of gambling research and policy at the University of Glasgow and co-director of Gambling Research Glasgow, commented on the matter, saying that it is difficult to remember the times before the proliferation of gambling sponsorships. Wardle said that it is important to explore how these sponsorships became “the new normal.”


Angel has a passion for all forms of writing, be it fiction or nonfiction. His curious nature gives him an ace up his sleeve when researching a new topic. Angel’s thirst for knowledge, paired with adaptability, always helps him find his way around.

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