Sports Minister Promises to Address the Issue of Dependency on Betting and Gambling Money Within Football in Upcoming Review

January 25, 2020 | Government

U.K. — Sports minister Nigel Adams has condemned football’s ‘dependency’ on gambling – and has vowed to address the issue in an ‘imminent’ review of industry laws.

In a wide-ranging interview with Sportsmail, Adams has expressed his serious concerns over clubs relying on money from betting companies.

And he has confirmed sponsorship and advertising deals with such firms will form part of the government’s review of the Gambling Act, which will begin within weeks.

‘There is far too much of a dependency on betting and gambling money within football,’ said Mr Adams. ‘I appreciate finances aren’t brilliant at a lot of the clubs but they need to be mindful of the impact that these sort of deals have on vulnerable people, who could potentially have an issue with gambling.

It’s right that in the new review of the Gambling Act, we will look at all these issues. I’m sure the link between gambling and football will form part of the review, which is going to be quite imminent.

Mr Adams’ comments are the furthest a government minister has gone in criticising the overall relationship between football and the gambling industry. The issue flared up earlier this month when the Daily Mail revealed the FA had sold streaming rights of the FA Cup to seven betting websites.

The review of the 2005 Gambling Act is likely to look at whether there should be a ban on betting firms becoming a club’s shirt sponsor. Under current laws, only tobacco products are forbidden on kits.

There is nothing off the table,‘ admitted Mr Adams.

As revealed by Sportsmail last year, the governing bodies of football, cricket, rugby union, rugby league and tennis want the government to impose a sports levy – or gambling tax – on bookies’ profits, which could be ploughed back into grassroots sport. Speaking on a visit to the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, Mr Adams added: ‘Anything fiscal is a matter for the treasury and the chancellor. But as I say, there is nothing off the table.

With over £40 million a season paid by the sector to the League and its Clubs, it continues to be an important part of the EFL’s financial model alongside a domestic broadcasting deal worth a £119m year and a number of other key revenue streams including ticketing, sponsorship and negotiated solidarity payments achieved through the sale of media rights.

SOURCE: The Daily Mail.


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