Rugby could lose lucrative betting sponsorships
A wide-ranging review of gambling laws launched this week will consider banning sports sponsorship amongst a ruck of reforms being considered by Government.
The review, announced on Monday (December 7) is calling for interested parties to submit their views.
Amid mounting concern about gambling’s role in wider society, changes under consideration will include:
- Limits on online stakes, prizes and “spin speeds”.
- Tough affordability checks.
- A testing regime for new products.
- A sports sponsorship ban.
- New powers to tackle the parallel market.
- Legal redress for wronged punters.
- A mandatory levy to fund addiction treatment
- Increasing from 16-18 age that you can buy a Lottery Ticket
The main impact on Rugby - of both codes will be a possible ban on gambling advertsiements at Football Grounds, including shirt sponsorships.
Premiership Rugby, England’s top-flight rugby union league, has a multi-year Official Betting Partner deal with online casino and betting brand BetUK.com.
BetUK.com is a UK company owned by the Sweden-based LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, which holds a leading position in Europe’s mobile casino market.
Rugby League's main sponsore BetFred have sponsored Super League for many years.
Whilst shirt sponsorship in Rugby sees multiple brands compared to football, a ban on betting logos would have a big impact on club revenues that might be hard to replace.
The sports minister, Nigel Huddleston, will oversee the review but Boris Johnson is understood to be keen on dialling back the Blair-era legislation that spawned the modern UK gambling industry.
According to reports in last week's Guardian, Senior officials in Downing Street are also believed to see gambling reform as a vote-winner, as well as the right thing to do. “The PM just sees it as people being exploited and it’s not him,” one MP with knowledge of No 10’s thinking said earlier this year.