Gambling Sponsorship Controversy Rumbles On

Gambling Sponsorship Controversy Rumbles On

The relationship between football and gambling is rarely out of the headlines. Another deal has been signed between a top football club and a gambling company. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, there is a claim that plans to ban “untargeted” gambling advertisements just won’t work.

The Dutch government has been tightening the rules that apply to the gambling industry in that country. They have proposed that on the first day of 2023, a ban will come into force on ‘untargeted’ gambling advertisements whether they be online, in print or other forms of broadcasting.

According to the Dutch football authority the proposal will cost Dutch football a total of €70m in terms of lost revenue. Consumer organisation Consumertenbond have also commented. They believe only a full ban on gambling advertising would be successful.

There are also concerns from trade associations that the proposed ban is not legally enforceable.

Meanwhile, English Premier League champions Manchester City have signed a new deal with LeoVegas. This sees them becoming the club’s official betting partner in both Canada and Europe. There will be LeoVegas branding on the men’s first team training kit sleeve for this new season. There will also be in-stadia assets at not just the Academy Stadium but also at the Etihad.

Manchester City fans will be able to enter competitions run by LeoVegas. These will give them the chance to win a unique matchday experience at the Etihad Stadium.

The LeoVegas Group chief executive is Gustav Hagman. He said of the partnership with Manchester City as “an opportunity for LeoVegas to build further brand awareness to support our global growth.”

Manchester City believe this partnership will help “spark further growth across Europe and Canada” and allow them to “continue reaching audiences around the world.”

The partnership agreement comes at a time when there is ongoing controversy over sponsorship of football clubs by gambling companies. The UK government White Paper on gambling reform is perhaps just weeks away now that Liz Truss has been confirmed as the new Prime Minister.

It’s believed that doesn’t include a compulsory ban on gambling companies sponsoring sports clubs. The desired route is believed to be Premier League clubs reaching a voluntary agreement to end such deals.

This could see current deals being allowed to continue until they expire. The sponsoring of sleeves rather than the front of shirts may also be a way of clubs coming to a voluntary agreement. While this is yet to be confirmed, Premier League clubs such as Everton, Fulham and Bournemouth have signed lucrative front-of-shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies.