Premier League ban betting shirt Sponsors: a first but ironic step

As of the 2025/2026 season, Premier League teams will no longer be bankrolled by gambling companies in what is a European first after clubs agree to place a ban on betting sponsors.

Eight of the 20 Premier League sides donned betting company logos as their main sponsors during the 2022/2023 season which will be moved to less prominent areas of club strips.

The Premier League claim this is part of a campaign to ‘reduce’ gambling advertisement sponsorship but will this make an impact on the gambling companies which as an industry took in £9.9 billion from April 2021 to March 2022, probably not.

Whilst a move towards greater restrictions on gambling advertisement is of course a move in the right direction and does set a precedent for other leagues to follow suit, namely the EFL which is sponsored by Sky Bet, this should not be heralded as a landmark achievement in the battle against gambling addiction that has become part of the norm in football culture.

As I scrolled through the breaking news on the One Football App it was incredibly ironic that a betting advertisement was on the very page that explained the ban on betting sponsors. It really sums the up-hill battle that British football has on its hands if it as a collective wants to fight gambling addiction in the UK.

Embed from Getty Images

Putting a bet on is as much part of many football supporters’ match-day routine as having a pie and a pint at halftime, with mates often asking each other who they got bets on or if their accumulator is still coming through. Gambling is truly normalised in British footballing culture; I doubt simply moving the betting sponsor away from the centre of a team’s strip will make much of a difference.

As someone who has dipped their toes into the world of football betting, I can say that putting spreading a fiver over what I would call well-thought-out bets does add an element of excitement to the experience of watching football. Seeing Granit Xhaka get that inevitable yellow card, to use a cliche that every Arsenal fan will refute, to win you £20 is a great feeling. A feeling that is too hard to get used to but so easy to chase.

I have been lucky that I have never fallen into a habit where I always put a bet on partly helped by the fact it seemed that whenever I had a bet on Arsenal to win they thought it best to let the opposition win and the betting company keep my money. Others are not so lucky.

In the UK just under 1.5 million adults were labelled as a ‘problem gambler’ in 2021 by the Annual GB Treatment and Support Survey, whilst 6% of the adult population surveyed, equating to just over 3.3 million adults in the UK, were identified as a ‘self-reported affected others’ or in other words those affected by gambling but had no themselves had put a bet on.

It’s a truly worrying number but not a statistic which brings any real surprise. Of course, this is not all through sports gambling but it certainly plays its part.

19.7% of the men who took part in the survey took part in sports betting, a rise of the previous year. It’s no wonder why when football-related programs are filled with betting adverts both during the 90 minutes of football but also during pre-match, half-time and post-match advertisements.

Gambling advertisements are broken up with betting awareness campaigns as well as gambling adverts being caveated with ‘please gamble responsibly’. On the whole, however, the special offers and excitement that come with betting can be more persuasive than the same betting companies telling you ‘Stop when the fun stops’.

Again this is not just a Premier League issue, with European football as well as lower league football being sponsored by large betting companies but it is again a step in the right direction however there is a long, long way to go before betting is reduced in the UK.

There’s simply too much money involved, with £60 million per year being spent on a shirt sponsorship alone the BBC reported, for a dent to be made in the battle against gambling addiction in the UK.

Let’s hope that the Premier League are serious about reducing gambling adverts and that the other EFL leagues will soon follow suit and that this isn’t the first and only step but is followed by measures and restrictions against the barrage of betting adverts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link