Sunday 31 January 2021 10:47 am

Sports teams facing end of gambling shirt sponsorship

Sports teams are facing the prospect of being banned from displaying gambling logos on their shirts, the Sunday Times reported.

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Officials have warned members of the sports industry that a crackdown on gambling sponsors is under consideration.

Such a move would be a seismic shock for sports clubs, and mark the biggest shake-up in sports advertising since the outlawing of tobacco sponsors.

Football clubs, which would be the worst hit by such a measure, warned that the timing of the move was wrong.

Premier League and Championship sides take in about £110m a year from shirt sponsorship. Half the Premier League teams have some form of betting shirt sponsor.

Other sports, such as boxing, rugby league, snooker, and darts would also be affected by the move.

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Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith, a member of the parliamentary group on gambling harm, welcomed the move.

He told the Sunday Times: “Banning gambling logos on sportswear would be a welcome step, but given the risks presented by gambling the government will need to deal with this issue more widely.

“A complete ban on gambling advertising is long overdue and this should be brought forward ahead of the upcoming gambling review.”

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But one Premier League source warned that although they agreed with the “general principle”, taking such a step while clubs were struggling with Covid-related financial difficulties was “wrong”.

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