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Legal & RegulatoryIndustry

Legal views: Potential betting sponsorship ban could open door for "similar risk" trading firms

Since the review of the 2005 Gambling Act began, conversation on a prospective ban on betting firms sponsoring football shirts has been reported.

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Alongside this, consideration has risen around the topic of a further ban on televised gambling adverts and pitchside hoarding; however this hasn’t been confirmed to take action.

Given the changes in advertising in sports since 2003, when tobacco promotion was outlawed in the UK, Imogen Moss, gambling industry and regulatory expert from solicitors Poppleston Allen has told Gambling Insider her views: "Given the DCMS have been clear that the review's purpose is to overhaul regulations to ensure they're fit for the digital age, banning a traditional form of advertising like shirt sponsorship might not be where marketing reform ends.”

On the subject of betting brands, Moss explains how they should “now also consider how they market to a football audience via digital means, with the sweeping changes in Spain – spanning social media and television advertising among other channels – showing the extent of how far governments and regulators can go."

She continued: “One unintended consequence of a betting sponsorship ban may be that the space on shirts – which clubs will be desperate to fill in order to shore up pandemic-stricken finances – could become occupied by financial and cryptocurrency trading firms.

“These products can carry similar risk levels to gambling, particularly for a new audience and in some cases aren't as well regulated as gambling is in the UK. As such, their marketing activity could also be subject to similar levels of scrutiny and regulation in future."

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