It’s long since been a tradition that online gambling companies, and even high street brands, are sponsors of premiership football clubs. At every match you are pretty much guaranteed to see one name from the industry emblazoned upon a football legend’s chest.
However, the rules are pretty clear from the Football Association itself, all players under the age of 18 must not promote gambling or alcohol consumption.
In addition to the FA rules, strict regulations have been firmly implemented by the Gambling Commission with a number of popular slot titles being removed from gambling websites because they use cartoon or storybook characters which may appeal to under 18’s.
Players can no longer see titles that may hold appeal to children unless they have undergone age-verification checks.
It was revealed earlier in the month that all the players in the Newcastle under -18s team were on the website sporting gambling sponsorship for Fun88.
They were removed very shorty after being posted on the website.
A few days ago it was reported that Newcastle United are now going to remove all gambling advertising from the kits of the under-18s team following an investigation conducted by the Sunday Times [read more here].
In total there are a reported £47 million worth of shirt sponsorship deals in Premier League clubs and in The Sunday Times investigation, the following are just a few of the concerns that were raised:
Letou sponsor the team for £4.5 million a season and links were found to free games such as Mermaid Millions on the Junior Jacks website. The links were subsequently removed following the investigation.
Betway sponsor the team for £10 million a season. Pictures of two schoolboys wearing a West Ham kit with the Betway logo were found on the website. These have now been removed.
SportPesa sponsor Everton for £9.6m a season. A link to a gambling site was found on the Club website, including the Academy page.
Bet365 sponsor the team of Stoke City for £3.2 million a year. There were some images found on the website which showed under-18 players sporting shirts with gambling sponsorship. These have now been removed.
We could well see some quite significant changes to how gambling sponsorship move forward with premiership clubs in the future.