EFL teams urge ban on gambling deals

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A group of 20 English Football League and non-league football clubs have urged the U.K. government to follow through with a blanket ban on gambling-related sponsorships.

Executives from the clubs believe football has a “moral duty” to cut ties with the gambling industry, and issuing a ban has been discussed for several years. There is a desire to remove betting-related sponsorships and advertisements so as not to induce young fans to gamble.

Proposals for a blanket ban are expected to be submitted after April 17.
A ban on gambling-related deals would cost the EFL only 2.5% in lost revenue.

Meanwhile, none of the 20 Premier League teams would be impacted by the ban.
The EFL, which has a sponsorship deal with Sky Bet that runs through 2024, saw its Bolton Wanderers club end its relationship with gambling firms last September, sparking other clubs in the league and around Europe to do the same.

Football clubs have displayed a willingness to partner with betting brands to help alleviate financial losses caused by COVID. Europe’s football governing body, UEFA began finalizing a $2.3 billion credit line in October 2021 to help clubs pay for unsettled transfer fees and recover from their losses.

Many believe there are plenty of opportunities to rebound from the losses, as the total value of the European sponsorship market reached $30.8 billion in 2021, an 18% uptick year-over-year. In comparison, the market fell by 23% in 2020.

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