What happens when the craze of gambling legislation and responsible gambling sweep over sports? Well, we’ll see just that by the end of 2026. For now, some concerning news has come to light.
While not applicable as yet, Premium League is set to remove gambling sponsor ads from the front of their shirts. This makes them the first UK-based football league to do so, and it’s no minor matter since the Premier League is one of the top-most football leagues in the country.
Controversy already swarms this move. Some are calling it a step in the direction of responsible gaming. Others put it in line with the government’s previous strict policing of people’s actions. The UK parliament’s recent legislations have already come under fire and this may be no different.
Gambling Sponsorships In Danger
So, why the sudden need to wipe out gambling sponsors from the sport?
Well, according to this site, gambling advertisements won’t be completely banned. Instead, they’ll be less prominent. LED panels and the sleeves of the shirts will continue to have gambling sponsors, just not the front of the shirts.
A detailed white paper on the legislation is yet to come from the parliament with further details on what is to follow.
Already, as early as 2019, Serie A clubs dropped any gambling sponsors on the front of their shirts following past legislation. LaLiga sides followed suit for the 20121-22 campaign which shows that the trend is nothing new.
And now, eight Premier League clubs are set to do the same by the end of the 2025-26 campaign.
The League’s Position On The Matter
But here’s the interesting part — the government is not policing this move.
At least, not on the surface of it.
The clubs announced the move as a voluntary action, and it is hard to point fingers for the time being. But to many, the crook behind the mask is already as clear as the day. The upcoming “responsible gambling” legislation is poised to be met with public anger and frustration.
What is the league’s position on all of this?
Well, one word: responsible gambling.
They may have indeed made the move on their own accord to cut down on gambling addiction. In an interview, James Grimes reportedly said that the move aims to cut down on gambling addiction and the negative effects of widespread gambling advertisements.
To some, this makes sense.
After all, addiction helps no one, even if one is a good gambler. However, most people are skeptical, and rightfully so.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gambling Commission amended the Social Responsibility Code 3.4.1 in May 2020, necessitating certain “responsible gambling” practices.
Many see this current move and the play behind the curtain as a continuation of this policy. Critics say it’s their money, and they’re smart enough to use it the way they want to. In any case, the 8 clubs are free to take up gambling sponsors till the end of the 2025-26 campaign.
That’s all we know for now.