The Big Step urges Premier League to vote against voluntary sponsorship ban

The Big Step wants a complete ban on gambling sponsorship.
The Big Step wants a complete ban on gambling sponsorship.

The campaign group says self-regulation isn’t working.

UK.- As Premier League clubs prepare to vote on whether to propose a voluntary ban on front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship, the campaign group The Big Step has called for them to end all gambling advertising. It says that “relying on clubs to self-regulate has not worked so far”.

The Premier League is to hold a vote in September on its plan to phase out front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship in an attempt to avoid a complete ban on all forms of advertising. The league plans to keep sponsorship in other places, including on shirt sleeves. The proposal will need the support of 14 out of the league’s 20 teams to go ahead, but most are expected to approve the proposal.

It’s believed that Chris Philp, the last DCMS minister responsible for the UK government’s overview of gambling legislation, was open to the proposal. However, it’s not clear whether the new incumbent Damian Collins or his eventual successor following the Conservative Party leadership election will receive the proposal. Boris Johnson was at one stage believed to be in favour of a ban on gambling sponsorship in football, but he’s now resigned as prime minister.

The Big Step has published an open letter from more than 100 people who have been affected by gambling harm. The letter highlights the number of gambling adverts shown during Premier League games with the example of a match that featured 700 adverts.

Its letter also expressed disappointment at further delays to the review of gambling legislation due to the Tory leadership contest.

The group insisted that it is not against gambling and does not aim to “completely end the relationship between gambling and football”. However, it said that gambling “should not be promoted, especially in a globally-adored league where young people make up a quarter of the audience.”

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