Betting firms planning industry-wide ban on high-risk gamblers

Betting firms planning industry-wide ban on high-risk gamblers as they look to take a stance in order to stave off Government threat of shirt sponsoring ban

  • Betting firms are preparing to issue an industry-wide ban on all high-risk clients  
  • The government are considering banning gambling sponsors on football jerseys 
  • Restrictions on sponsorship could create financial problems for some clubs 

Gambling firms are proposing industry-wide bans on high risk clients amid growing fears of tough Government restrictions on lucrative football sponsorship deals.

Whitehall chiefs have started their review of the Gambling Act 2005, which is likely to have significant ramifications on the long-standing relationship between betting and sport.

One of the restrictions being considered by parliament is banning shirt sponsorship deals with betting firms.

The government is considering a ban on betting companies sponsoring football shirts

But gambling companies are ready to impose bans on people identified as problem gamblers as they look to prove to the Government that they are serious about tackling the issues attached to gambling.

There is a belief that advancements in technology means it is easier to identify those with potential addictions and firms will use the data to prevent those in the ‘high risk’ category from placing bets.

Restrictions on sponsorship deals would create huge financial difficulties for clubs across the country.

A quarter of Premier League teams have gambling companies as their main shirt sponsors this season, while many more clubs have various lower level deals with firms in the industry.

Similarly, a number of EFL clubs, many of which are struggling financial due to the pandemic, have lucrative commercial contracts with gambling firms. Indeed, the EFL’s main sponsor is sports gaming company Sky Bet.

Companies want to prove they are capable of tackling issues such as problem gamblers

In a show of the commitment to Government’s gambling review, one of the UK’s major betting firms, the Kindred Group, which overseas Unibet and 32Red among others, today became the first operator to open its books to show exactly how much of its revenue is derived from high risk players.

Their data shows 96 per cent of Kindred’s gambling revenue is from ‘safe and sustainable’ betting, while four per cent is derived from high risk customers.

Neil Banbury, UK general manager at Kindred Group said: ‘As a single operator you just can’t push the problem to another operator, as a licensed industry that’s where we have to work together to make sure we do look after the customers collectively as an industry and prevent the possibility of leakage to sites that aren’t regulated.’

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