Earlier this week, England’s top football clubs were asked to support a voluntary ban on betting brands as shirt sponsors. They were given a strict deadline to respond as a White Paper on gambling reform was imminent.
But a mass exodus of Conservative ministers, including Gambling Minister Chris Philp, has now raised concerns about the fate of said reforms.
This string of ministerial resignations culminated in Boris Johnson deciding to step down as PM. Against this chaotic backdrop, Premier League clubs will now discuss the proposed ban at a previously scheduled meeting on 26 July.
Parliament is due to break for summer recess on 21 July and according to a BBC report, are set to wait on the Premier League’s decision. Consequently, publication of the White Paper will likely be pushed back until Parliament reconvenes.
At least 14 clubs would need to support the proposed ban for immediate adoption. If passed, they would then have three years to phase out any existing contracts.
While the government had contemplated a legislative ban, this was apparently dropped in favour of voluntary action. However, an imposed embargo was not entirely ruled out.
Late last month, a DCMS spokesperson said the long-awaited White Paper represented “the most comprehensive review of gambling laws in 15 years.”
Similarly, Philp, in his resignation letter, said it contains “strong measures to protect people from the ravages of gambling addiction,” and urged the Prime Minister to “deliver the review in full and undiluted.”