The party has pledged to address the “hidden pandemic” of addiction and protect children from unwarranted gambling exposure at a young age.
Signing jersey sponsorship deals with betting companies will be prohibited for football clubs under a Labour government. This is one of many pledges made by the Labour Party to combat a “hidden pandemic” of addiction and protect children from being exposed to gambling at a young age.
The policy, which was proposed by deputy leader Tom Watson, is thought to be the first in a series of proposals to limit the power of gambling companies. This has increased the amount of pressure on the government in advance of its own review of the industry.
Watson, who is also the shadow minister for culture, media, and sport, stated that a Labour government would encourage the Football Association to enforce its own ban, but that the government would be willing to legislate if necessary.
The gambling industry preys on the economically and socially disadvantaged.
“Football needs to play its part in solving Britain’s hidden pandemic of gambling addiction,” he said.
Football clubs’ shirt sponsorship sends the message that they do not take the issue of compulsive gambling among their own fans seriously enough. It brings gambling companies to the attention of fans of all ages not only during matches, but also during broadcasts and highlight packages on both commercial television and the BBC.
The Premier League has nine football clubs, and three of them, including Newcastle, West Ham, and Everton, have jersey sponsorship deals with gambling organizations. This season’s deals are worth a total of £47.3 million.
A further 16 clubs in England’s second and third tiers have similar partnerships, with many of them with companies that do little business in the UK but use the Premier League’s global popularity to court clients in Asia and other parts of the world.
The Football Association prohibits juvenile teams from wearing clothing that depicts things that are deemed “detrimental to the welfare, health, or general interests of young persons.” This prohibition extends to gambling. According to Labour Party sources, the Football Association’s (FA) own rationale should be extended to the millions of children who watch football. The Football Association (FA) announced a month ago that it was terminating its sponsorship relationships with betting companies, including a £4 million-per-year contract with Ladbrokes.
Watson also drew parallels with legislation enacted in 2005 to prohibit tobacco companies from sponsoring sporting events.
“It’s right that we recognize the harm that problem gambling causes and remove gambling logos from football shirts,” he continued, “just as cigarette companies were barred from sponsoring sporting events and putting their names on branded goods because of the harm smoking can cause.”
According to Watson, the fact that the Gambling Commission reported last month that the number of problem gamblers had increased to 430,000 meant that football should distance itself from the industry.
“With new evidence indicating that gambling addiction is on the rise, at a huge cost to individuals and their families, society, and the taxpayer,” he said, “the clubs should follow the FA’s lead.” “[T]he clubs should follow the FA’s example because gambling addiction is a major issue in this country.”
According to a recent study conducted by Goldsmiths, University of London researchers, gambling is now so inextricably linked to football that viewers of television cannot avoid being marketed to by the industry, even if they do not watch commercial television. Goldsmiths University of London researchers examined three episodes of the BBC’s flagship football highlights program Match of the Day. They discovered that gambling logos or branding appeared on screen for between 71% and 89% of the total running time of the show.
Despite the fact that Sky broadcasts advertisements, the percentage of screen time enjoyed by gambling establishments during a live football broadcast was as low as 68 percent in some cases. This figure is for a match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, neither of which is sponsored by a betting company. In another game, West Ham and Liverpool faced off, and 88 percent of the broadcast was devoted to advertisements for various forms of gambling.
According to Professor Rebecca Cassidy, the similarities between Match of the Day and Sky are due in part to the fact that live games include lengthy periods of pre-match and post-match commentary in which gambling logos do not appear.
Highlight shows, on the other hand, frequently include close-up shots of advertising billboards in and shirts, and many post-match interviews are held in front of hoardings emblazoned with company logos. This is in contrast to the fact that many pre-match interviews are held in front of company billboards.
Problem gambling is on the rise. It is in Labour’s best interests to promise fundamental change.
“When we looked at a tiny sample of live football matches and highlights on the BBC, we were astounded by the sheer amount, as well as the fact that the BBC was not a’safe environment,'” Cassidy said. “Gambling advertising has become an integral part of the fabric of our stadiums,” and whether you watch highlights on the BBC or live matches on Sky, you will be bombarded with it in both cases.
She referred to Australia’s stricter regulations, which recently prohibited gambling advertisements during sporting events broadcast before the watershed.
The Department of Culture, Media, and Sport intends to issue a report early in November that will clarify the government’s position on gambling advertising and the contentious use of fixed-odds betting machines.
Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport, is widely known to have a strong desire to impose stringent regulations, particularly on FOBTs. However, she is facing opposition from the Treasury, which is concerned about the impact of any new restrictions on the amount of tax revenue generated by gambling companies.