Will the Premier League cut its own fortune? Can banning gambling companies as heart-to-heart sponsors really reduce gambling?

The new rules will ban betting companies from advertising on the center of jerseys, but will still allow advertising on jersey sleeves and LED billboards. The ban gives existing contracts a 3-year transition period, that is, the affected teams have until the start of the 2026-2027 season to find new sponsors. At present, there are 8 teams in the Premier League (Benford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds United, Newcastle, Southampton and West Ham) whose jersey sponsorships are all gaming companies, and it is estimated that they can bring more money to the club every year. £60 million ($75.1 million) in revenue. The ban on football gambling sponsorship is an important move by the Premier League and the UK government to recognize the harm caused by gambling sponsorship. No gambling ad currently reaches billions of viewers around the world like a Premier League football shirt. However, in recent years, the global sports betting market has developed rapidly, and football matches are one of the most important betting items. According to a report by the International Center for Sports Safety, the global sports betting market is worth more than $1 trillion, of which about 80% of betting activities take place in illegal or non-regulated markets. This chaotic market environment increases the risk of corruption and match-fixing, especially in lower leagues with poor management and oversight. Advertising in the gaming industry, especially sports sponsorship, has drawn heightened public attention to gambling addiction and other social issues. According to the UK Gambling Commission report, around 1.4% of adults in the UK are classified as problem gamblers, with another 2.7% at high risk of becoming a problem gambler. According to a study by the University of Bristol, gambling addiction and related social problems cause economic losses of up to £1.2 billion a year in the UK. To effectively prevent and deal with gambling addiction, a comprehensive coping strategy is needed, among which education, strengthening norms, and increasing support services are the three most important aspects. The first is education, which can increase public awareness and risk awareness of gambling addiction. Studies report that education is an effective way to prevent gambling addiction. For example, research from the University of Glasgow found that adolescents who received gambling education had a significantly lower risk of gambling harm. Education can increase public awareness and risk awareness of gambling, especially among young people. The second is to strengthen regulations, such as restricting gambling advertisements and promotions. The UK government has taken steps to limit advertising and publicity in the gambling industry, including banning betting ads during live sports and requiring online bookmakers to verify the identities of players. These measures aim to reduce the public’s exposure to gambling advertisements and promote responsible gaming by bookmakers. At the same time, more support services should be provided for gambling addicts. The National Problem Gambling Clinic in the UK currently provides free treatment and counseling for people with gambling addiction, but the demand for services far outstrips available resources. Therefore, the government needs to invest more in developing support networks and services. However, limiting betting sponsorship of sporting events can have several benefits. Such as protecting some vulnerable groups such as teenagers, poor families and gambling addicts. Sports betting can easily appeal to younger audiences due to its high appeal and excitement. Poor families and gambling addicts are more likely to be tempted by gambling advertisements and continue to bet on gambling. Banning sponsorship of sports betting would reduce the exposure of these disadvantaged groups to betting advertisements and reduce their risk of becoming addicted to gambling. At the same time, restricting advertising can also help change the public’s perception of the gaming industry, prompting it to adopt greater social responsibility, and formulate self-regulatory standards to protect consumers, especially young people and problem gamblers. Research has shown that young people are more likely to gamble if they see it being promoted, and the Premier League is a highly visible platform. According to the UK Gambling Commission’s 2020 survey, 55,000 children in the UK are classified as gambling addicts and a further 100,000 are at risk of developing problem gambling. Exposure to gambling advertisements is an important factor in problem gambling, and banning bookmakers from being former sponsors of team jerseys could reduce young people’s exposure to gambling advertisements. It is widely believed that sponsoring sports teams and stars means that the brand and company itself is as respectable and trustworthy as those sports teams and stars. Lotteries use this effect to project their legitimacy and credibility as sponsors of sports, which in turn reinforces a positive public perception of the gambling industry itself. A study by Victoria University in Australia found that fans who watch sports events are more likely to accept and use sponsors’ products, especially after the event. Therefore, the brand exposure of the lottery on the front of the jersey and on the screen will increase the adoption of the lottery’s product, thereby improving the social acceptance of gambling. Banning such ads can help change perceptions of gambling. Banning such ads would break the link between sports sponsorship and a company’s image, reducing the positive effects the gambling industry has gained. People will look at gambling more rationally and objectively, and realize the social risks and harms involved. This helps to change public attitudes towards gambling being condoned and encouraged. Again, this restriction reduces the chances of match-fixing and lawlessness. There is a certain conflict between the business interests of bookmakers and the fairness of sports competitions. In order to earn higher profits, bookmakers may use their influence on teams or stars to manipulate the outcome of the game, thereby affecting the betting market and making profits. At the same time, the gaming industry is also an important channel for money laundering and other illegal funds. Hundreds of billions of dollars of illicit funds are laundered through casinos and online gambling every year, according to Interpol. Lotteries and bookies themselves are also often used to hide and move dirty money. In short, there is a serious credibility crisis and controversy in the gaming industry. Sports organizations will not only attract controversy for themselves by establishing long-term partnerships with them, but will also be dragged down by these controversies and scandals, and even involved. Keeping the necessary distance and upholding ethical standards are critical to long-term health. Prohibiting lottery companies from becoming major sponsors is an important measure to maintain the credibility of the Premier League. To sum up, prohibiting sports betting sponsorship is not only to reduce advertising, but also an important measure to protect the public, especially vulnerable groups. This also helps to maintain the good image of the Premier League. However, it has been suggested that a ban on gaming sponsorships would dent the financial revenues of some teams, particularly those that are smaller and less competitive. Indeed, gaming sponsorship is an important source of income for some teams. But the total income of Premier League teams has reached 5.2 billion pounds, of which 2.7 billion comes from broadcast rights. In addition, the team can also earn income through other advertising and commercial activities, such as finding other popular sponsors. Therefore, it is believed that banning gaming sponsorships will not have a significant financial impact on most teams. In addition, there are opinions that the gaming industry is a legal industry, so it should be allowed to promote its products and services through sponsorship. It is true that gambling is a legal economic activity in the UK, but this does not mean that its business practices and advertising will not cause social problems. The regulation and restriction of legal industries also need to consider the public interest and protect the well-being of the general public. Given the magnitude of gambling addiction and related social issues, limiting its advertising and sponsorship is a necessary move. All in all, the Premier League’s ban on sports betting as a shirt sponsorship is a laudable decision. Not only is this an important move to reduce betting publicity, but it is also a responsible act of acknowledging the social impact and public misgivings that sports betting sponsorship can have.​ While restricting sports betting sponsorship may have a short-term impact on the revenue of some teams, in the long run it will help build a socially responsible football industry and reduce the impact of betting on youth and disadvantaged groups. It also provides a good example for other countries and sports to regulate sports betting. Restricting promotion and sponsorship alone is not enough to fully and permanently address the problems posed by sports betting. Educating and strengthening support for people with gambling addictions is equally important. The government needs to devote more resources to raising public awareness of the risks of gambling, especially among young people, and to provide more support services for problem gamblers. In general, to establish a fair, just and responsible sports betting environment requires the joint efforts of the government, sports organizations, the gaming industry and all sectors of society. By educating the public, strengthening regulations, and supporting vulnerable groups, we can protect the commercial interests of the gaming industry while minimizing its negative impact on society, especially protecting youth and other vulnerable groups.