UK Gambling Bill Threatens Premier League Sponsorship Deals
The UK’s Gambling Commission’s approach to implementing the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill would mean an end to the sponsorship of Premier League clubs by Asian gambling firms.
The Bill requires a gambling operator based outside of Great Britain to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission if the operators “knows that the facilities [for remote gambling] are being used, or are likely to be used in Great Britain.”
The main reason that Asian companies sponsor British clubs is in order to advertise to Asian customers where the Premier League is hugely popular, both to watch on TV and as a betting medium. The sponsorship counts as advertising within the Gambling Act 2005 and is currently permitted since all of the operators are based or licensed in the EEA.
Under the new Bill these operators will need to obtain a license from the Gambling Commission to continue their sponsorship. As the companies are mainly advertising to Asian customers it would be simplest for them to block access to UK customers. However, the Gambling Commission has said that it will not be issuing “advertising only” licenses and that they “will not normally license operators unless they have a British-facing business”.
As a result the new bill seems likely to end up costing the Premier League millions of pounds in sponsorship.