Gambling Sponsors Banned From English Premier League Shirt Fronts

Gambling Sponsors Banned From English Premier League Shirt Fronts

English Premier League clubs have voluntarily agreed to remove gambling sponsorship from the front of their match shirts.

The move comes after increasing pressure in the UK about the prevalence of wagering sponsorships in sports, with soccer facing particular scrutiny.

However, the collective agreement will only come into force in May 2026 at the end of the 2025/26 season allowing existing deals to run their course. What’s more, clubs will still be able to place gambling sponsorships on shirt sleeves. In-stadium advertising is also unaffected.

“The announcement follows an extensive consultation involving the League, its clubs and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport as part of the Government’s ongoing review of current gambling legislation,” said the League in a statement.

“The Premier League is also working with other sports on the development of a new code for responsible gambling sponsorship,” it added.

Lucy Frazer, the UK’s secretary of state in the Department for Culture, Media and Sport welcomed the move.

Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham have betting companies as front-of-shirt sponsors. The remaining 12 clubs do not. However, Aston Villa and Wolves have betting-related sleeve adverts.

A survey last year found that three-fifths of Australians want wagering companies to be banned from sponsoring professional sports teams.

The chief advocate for the Alliance for Gambling Reform, Tim Costello said that the danger of gambling sponsorships for sports teams is not that it will hook back in problem gamblers, but it will attract new ones.

“The damage is that children’s minds are captured and they are being gingered up to be gamblers, and many of them will become problem gamblers,” he said.

“Really, it is a grooming exercise by these sports betting companies and we know that in places it has already corrupted sport, and as it continues to become more dominant, it will corrupt sport even more.”

Considering the Premier League’s prevalence on social media and in games such as EA’s FIFA series of titles, gambling sponsorships would be front-of-mind for children.

Lead image: CPFC

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