The backbone of Scottish football sponsorship- gambling- is under threat.
Almost half of the clubs in the English Premier League and in the Championship carry shirt sponsorship for gambling companies.
In Scotland William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfred sponsor the three main competitions even though players, managers and officials are banned from gambling on football.
Concerns about the problems caused by gambling addictions has grown in recent times with the tone of many sponsorships turning towards ‘responsible gambling’.
Commercial breaks during televised football are dominated by gambling firms but with the Government growing concerned the industry is starting to self-police.
The Telegraph reports:
A “whistle-to-whistle” TV advertising ban has been agreed in principle by the Remote Gambling Association, which includes Bet365, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.
The move follows political pressure about the increased profile of betting in sport, with more than 90 minutes of adverts shown during the football World Cup last summer.
Jeremy Wright, secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, told Telegraph Sport: “Gambling firms banning advertising on TV during live sport is a welcome move and I am pleased that the sector is stepping up and responding to public concerns. It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling-related harm. Companies must be socially responsible.”
The booming football gambling industry is worth £1.4 billion to the industry in the UK. The Gambling Commission says bookmakers made £333.4 million in profits from bets placed on the sport in Britain between October 2015 and September 2016.
As well as sponsorship of the three main competitions in Scottish football Celtic’s main shirt sponsor is dafabet.
In a number of UEFA countries shirt sponsorship by gambling and alcohol firms is already banned.