The government has been warned that the planned gambling changes in the United Kingdom represent an existential danger to specific sports. According to industry experts, a potential ban on gambling advertising surrounding sporting events would be the most serious threat to idiosyncratically British professional sports such as snooker and darts since the prohibition on cigarette advertising was repealed. It would also have an effect on sports such as soccer, boxing, and rugby league.
Horse racing will lose $100 million per year due to planned “affordability checks” for gamblers who lose more than $100 in a month, according to a recent study. As recently as last week, a senior member of the racing business said that the prospect of affordability checks was more concerning for the industry than the financial effect of COVID-19.
Controls are being tightened.
Beginning on December 8, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) launched a long-awaited review of the country’s gambling legislation, which has been delayed for 15 years since the previous significant overhaul. Many prohibitions on gambling advertising on television were lifted as a result of the 2005 Gambling Act, which liberalized most of the industry.
Campaigners, on the other hand, feel that the 2005 law went too far and have advocated for stronger regulatory restrictions to prevent problem gambling in the future. There has been a reaction against the nation’s betting sector from the general public and the media, and legislators say they want to guarantee that regulations are “suited for the digital age.”
Several media sources have reported that the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is seriously considering banning gambling advertising and sponsorship in sports.
Last season, betting firms sponsored the shirts of half of the English Premier League clubs and 16 of the 24 teams in the second-tier Championship division in the United Kingdom. Many believe it has reached saturation point and that it has normalized gambling in the eyes of young people.
Snooker’s Resurrection Was Thanks to Betting
The Daily Telegraph today quoted Barry Hearn, the founder and chairman of Matchroom Sports, a company that promotes sports including boxing, snooker, and darts, as saying that a total ban on advertisements would be “a catastrophe for every layer of sport (sic).”
Hearn is all too familiar with the devastation that a sudden withdrawal of sponsorship money can have on a sport’s reputation. As a result of the prohibition on cigarette sponsorship, snooker’s prize money was depleted in 2005, rendering the sport unprofitable for its participants. The situation was over in a flash. By 2007, the sport had been rescued thanks to the sponsorship of newly legalized gambling.
Meanwhile, a prohibition on the use of logos on soccer shirt sponsorships would most certainly have the most negative impact on smaller clubs. All of this comes at a time when the epidemic is already exerting significant financial strain on the lowest divisions.