EFL backs gambling approach despite political scrutiny

By Peter Lynch

The English Football League (EFL) has reiterated its strong relationship with the gambling sector amid heightened political scrutiny surrounding the industry.

The statement follows suggestions that there will be an imminent review of gambling ads and sport sponsorship deals across the UK. 

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden will reportedly next month launch a call for evidence as the government aims to overhaul the 2005 Gambling Act. 

The move could potentially see betting companies banned from forming front-of-shirt sponsorship partnerships with English clubs, with a similar decision already in place in Spanish football. 

The EFL has backed its ongoing relationship with the gambling sector, arguing that any and all sponsorship has always been undertaken in a responsible manner. 

“The EFL continues to have an open and regular dialogue with all relevant stakeholders - including the Government - regarding football's ongoing relationship with the gambling industry to ensure its partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion,” the statement read. 

“The association between football and the gambling sector is long-standing, with a collaborative, evidence-based approach to preventing gambling harms of much greater benefit than that of a blanket ban of any kind. 

“Through a highly visible awareness and education campaign, the EFL and Sky Bet work together to promote responsible gambling, with players from all three divisions wearing sleeve badges to encourage supporters to consider how they gamble and 70% of the sponsor's matchday inventory dedicated to safer gambling messaging.” 


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