Premier League CEO defends allowing sports betting sponsorships in the league.

  • The U.K. may potentially ban sports betting promotions in the Premier League.
  • Premier League CEO Richard Masters announces support for sports betting partners.
  • Bookmakers are beginning to cut back on advertising during soccer matches in response to scrutiny.

LONDON – Despite growing scrutiny, Premier League CEO Richard Masters defends the promotion of sports betting firms on team jerseys. The issue has garnered scrutiny from the UK government as a potential ban is being discussed.

Masters maintains that the partnership between the English soccer league and those sports betting companies is actually good for the league and although he supports regulations, he can not stand behind a total ban.

Potential Ban

UK government officials and the gaming industry are considering the ban although nothing has been decided as of yet. The reason for the potential ban is due to a growing concern of over-saturation with marketing towards sports betting.

Masters does agree that their needs to be some form of regulation as the league has become more reliant on gambling. Of the 20 teams in the Premier League, 10 of them have betting companies promoted on their Jerseys.

“We’re not sniffy about the gambling industry,” said Masters. “The Premier League has never had a betting relationship, but it’s our clubs that enter into shirt sponsorship.”

Masters vehemently opposes the idea of a ban, however, as he went on to say “The whole area does need, I think, probably, slightly firmer regulation, particularly around the most vulnerable. But I don’t necessarily think that the answer should be that clubs should no longer have betting partnerships.”

Bookmakers Pulling Advertisements

In the wake of the scrutiny, many betting firms have cut back on their advertisements during games. Gaming ads completely have been removed from UK television which the BGC says reduced the amount of gambling advertisements by 85 percent.

GVC Holdings PLC has also voluntarily removed all of its soccer sponsorships last year. “There are probably too many gambling adverts and too much noise about gambling in front of consumers in the UK at the moment,” said GVC CEO Kenny Alexander.

Although the Premier League may lose the sports betting sponsorships on their jersey, other soccer leagues like the MLS continue to allow such advertisements.

Time will tell if UK officials end up outright banning sports betting sponsorships or just simply regulating them.

In the meantime, there are sure to be sports betting ads on the jerseys for the Manchester City Vs. West Ham match this Sunday. West Ham features the sports betting company ‘betway’ right on the front of their jerseys.

Manchester goes in as -1000 favorites with West Ham at +2200 and +1000 for a draw.

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