The Premier League is still the richest, strongest and most exciting football league in the world. It was, nonetheless, seriously hit by the coronavirus crisis and it is still reeling after one of the worst years in decades. Things should return to normal, but football fans, investors and gambling operators are worried that things will have to get worse before they get better. Regulators are likely to further amplify the pressure on football clubs and their sponsors, with a proposed set of laws for 2021 and beyond.
The end of shirt sponsorship is nigh
The English first and second divisions are shining examples of how gambling operators can benefit from associating their image with football clubs. A significant percentage of the teams are sponsored by bookmakers and online casinos like the ones listed here. Things are likely to take a turn for the worse in 2021 if the regulators pass a set of laws. One of the most frightening changes is the complete ban on shirt sponsorships. This will affect not only the Premier League, but also the lower divisions, including the Championship.
At the time of writing, dozens of teams chose to display the logos and names of their bookmaker sponsors on their shirts. In return of significant financial assistance, they spread the message and make these brands popular during matches. This is precisely the concern of lawmakers who say that this kind of exposure is detrimental to football and fans. The greatest concern is that constant exposure to gambling brands and logos will have a negative effect on the young and vulnerable people.
The proposed legislation varies from mild to extreme and it is frightening to gambling operators in all its forms. Over the years, certain limitations were imposed to gambling advertising and this trend has only gained strength recently. The decision to completely bar bookmakers from promoting their brands on shirts will drastically limit their exposure. Football clubs and players alike are concerned that this heavy-handed approach can have a negative impact on their revenues, as sponsors would take a step back.
Just the tip of the iceberg
The UK GC pays close attention to what happens in English football and how gambling firms conduct their business. This organization is in charge with monitoring the fairness of the gaming market and is tasked with keeping bookmakers and casinos in line. It is consulted with every important decision that can have an impact on the gambling industry and the affected parties. In this particular case, there is tremendous pressure from NGOs and other organizations to curb the exposure of gambling brands.
Lawmakers are working on several fronts and the proposed changes go beyond the shirt sponsorship ban. Addressing the threat of aggressive advertising techniques is also on the list of priorities. Higher taxes and the imposing of stricter betting limits will also have a negative impact on the bookmakers revenue. In conjunction, all these changes will place a heavy burden on the shoulders of UK gambling companies trying to recover after a brutal 2020.