House of Lords calls for ban on betting sponsors

03 Jul 2020

By: Sport Industry Group

A House of Lords select committee has called for a blanket ban on betting companies' sponsorship in sport, amid a raft of recommendations to help alleviate societal issues associated with gambling.

The committee, chaired by former ITV and BBC Chairman Lord Grade, listed sport sponsorship alongside the widespread adoption of smartphones and the exploitation of regulation as creating a ‘perfect storm’ for addictive gambling.

It went on to recommend that gambling operators shouldn’t be allowed to advertise on the shirts of sports teams, near any sporting venues, or on sport programmes. It did, however, also recommend that this should not take effect for any sports team below the Premier League, and both horse and greyhound racing should be exempt.

Currently, 10 Premier League clubs have betting company logos on their shirts.   

The committee also addressed the issue of operators that force gamblers to make a bet before they can watch live streams, claiming that any rightsholder that was engaged in such an act would lose the ability to sell its rights.

“The social responsibility code of practice must be amended to prohibit licensees from offering bet to view inducements, such as making the watching of a sport conditional on having an account with a gambling operator or placing a bet with an operator,” the statement read.

“The consequence of this will be that the Football Association, any other body with the rights to show football matches, and any body with similar rights in relation to other sports, will no longer be able to sell those rights to licensed gambling operators. We hope that they will see the wisdom of not attempting to sell those rights to unlicensed operators.”