Premier League CEO questions link between shirt sponsors and gambling addictions

Topics : Sport

Richard Masters who has been appointed as the new CEO of the Premier League, said sport
and gambling have a “long, historic relationship” and wants to find out if there are any links
between shirt sponsors and gambling addictions.

It is no surprise that gambling is a huge part of sports and football in particular, but many people
are beginning to want to clampdown bookmakers advertising rights in football.
At this point in time, half of the teams in the Premier League play in shirts sponsored by various
bookmakers. However, gambling firms have an even stronger hold of sides in the
Championship, with 17 of the total 24 sides wearing shirts sponsored by bookmakers and that
feature a betting logo.

The movement to clampdown on the amount of gambling advertisement that there is in football
has been put in place to protect ‘vulnerable people’. However, the total removal of gambling
firms sponsorships would see certain teams crumble financially.

When Richard Masters was asked whether or not he is happy with the Premier League’s current
association with gambling firms he said: “Our clubs have always abided by all of the regulations
and rules around the activation of their betting partnerships and obviously will continue to do

There are various other campaigns in place that are currently working on reducing the amount
of gambling-related advertisements available to viewers, which includes the ‘Whistle to Whistle’
movement. Betting firms voluntarily agreed to not advertise anything during live sports
coverage, but this has not stopped them from showing numerous advertisements before and
after matches.

Many are fighting against the movement to remove gambling restrictions in football as they
believe it may cause the leagues to suffer. The Premier League CEO, Richard Master believes
that the Premier League would not suffer from such restrictions.
"If that came about, the Premier League would adjust as other sports have adjusted to other
restrictions on sponsorship and advertising.”

Mr Masters went onto state his willingness to work with the government in an attempt to
clampdown on the involvement gambling firms has on the Premier League.
“All I can say is that we will be an active participant in that, we welcome that review and we’ll be
happy to work with the government on that,” the new Premier League CEO said.

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