British iGaming operators facing potential shirt sponsorship ban


In the United Kingdom and the wide-raging government review into the nation’s current land-based and online gaming landscape is reportedly amiable to a number of changes that could severely limit how operators are able to promote their services.

According to a report from the Daily Mail newspaper, the evaluation into the effectiveness of the Gambling Act 2005 was initiated by the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson in December as part of an effort to help create a safer player environment. The source detailed that this analysis being conducted by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is also looking into whether a healthier balance can be struck between consumer freedoms and harm prevention regardless of whether punters are gambling online or via one of many retail channels.

Tentative timeline:

The newspaper reported that the consultation segment of this assessment closed in March with the DCMS having received approximately 16,000 responses and that the government department is now likely to lay out its official recommendations via the publication of a ‘white paper’ before the end of the year.

Patronage proscription:

The Daily Mail reported that one of the most significant changes that the DCMS is thought to be behind would prohibit land-based and online gambling firms from inking shirt sponsorship deals with any of the nation’s many professional and amateur sports clubs. The newspaper purportedly cited one unnamed source as declaring that such a ban ‘is pretty much nailed on’ and could potentially be brought in from as early as next summer.

Consumer constraints:

There are reportedly thought to be approximately 400,000 gambling addicts in the United Kingdom with as many as two million more being classified as potentially at risk of developing a problem. It is purportedly thought that the DCMS will moreover recommend an end to most ‘VIP’ schemes, which often reward losing gamblers with lucrative bonuses and cash incentives, and endorse the establishment of a new consumer ombudsman to help disgruntled players.

Supplementary suggestions:

The Daily Mail reported that the DCMS is furthermore expected to throw its weight behind plans to cut the maximum individual online video slot stake to just £2 ($2.77) so as to bring the popular games into line with their land-based fixed-odds betting terminal counterparts. The source explained that the authority could additionally advocate for the implementation of a plethora of new affordability measures to help fight the alleged growing pervasiveness of ‘binge gambling.’

Positive prospects:

The Mail on Sunday reportedly used its own report yesterday to cite a ‘senior source’ as proclaiming that an outright ban of ‘VIP’ schemes had won ministerial support. For its part and the Daily Mail purportedly finished by citing another unnamed government source in asserting that ‘there seems to be pretty common agreement around an ombudsman and consumer redress’ with the implementation of a new cap on online video slot stakes now looking ‘highly likely.’