Latest Sports News Sport

Opinion: Betting advertisements & sponsorships should already be completely banned from all UK sports

Following the recent news that all UK gambling companies will ban footballers, celebrities, and other social media influencers from advertising on their platforms, should we have already had a complete ban of all betting promoting in sport such as shirt sponsorships and media advertisements? Why has it taken so long? 

Throughout the years gambling has held a huge position of power within the sporting landscape especially in horse racing for example where arguably the main premise of the sport is to place a bet.

However, in recent times its hard not to notice the rise in gambling companies with the sheer amount of mentions they receive in all kinds of sport media outlets. 

Now I completely understand that it’s a business at the end of the day and that the betting companies are just doing their job in plugging their brand, nevertheless the potency the advertisements have to certain individuals in society cannot be underestimated.

According to Providence Projects, approximately 430,000 people in the United Kingdom are currently suffering from compulsive gambling, although this number is rumoured to be much higher with football being the main problem sport.

As of today, there are eight Premier League clubs with gambling companies as shirt sponsors: Bournemouth, Brentford, Everton, Fulham, Leeds, Newcastle, Southampton, and West Ham.  

Despite Premier League clubs agreeing earlier this month to not advertise gambling companies from the 2026/27 season, this is still three years away and, in my opinion, should already be in play due to the ever-growing mental health crisis betting addiction causes in society. 

As reported by the Big Step campaign, which is fighting to end gambling advertisements in football, there are over 400 gambling suicides in England every year as well as their being over 700 gambling logos appearing during a single televised Premier league game.

To me, such stats deserve imminent action, and for it to take another three years for a complete shirt sponsorship ban in football is simply outrageous.  

It’s not just sports fans who have issues with gambling, sports stars are also vulnerable to such addictions too, as former Arsenal and England footballer Paul Merson describes talking to Sky Sports: “Addiction is a baffling, cunning, hideous disease that gets hold of you. Gambling addicts think they are bad people, but they’re not, they’re ill people who need to get well. That’s the message I want to get across.” 

For me personally I just think it’s so insensitive to have a gambling advertisement on television full stop, let alone before every single Premier League game. The UK has already banned cigarette advertisements for a number of decades now, and in my opinion must ban gambling ads too.

All in all, the stats never lie, and gambling addiction is just as bad for an individuals health as smoking is. Therefore, it’s about time something was done to tackle the bombardment of gambling adverts and sponsorships in sport, for good. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *