Thursday, 25 March 2021

English Premier League Clubs Meeting To Discuss Gambling Sponsorships

English Premier League Gambling Sponsorships

The English Premier League (EPL) clubs are today (March 25) meeting to discuss the future of gambling shirt sponsorships.

A new report from Sky News from earlier this week claims that clubs from the EPL are meeting today for a discussion on whether they should continue shirt sponsorships and will reportedly receive an update on findings regarding shirt sponsorships’ relationship with gambling addiction.

The announcement comes as the UK Government currently carries out its review of the Gambling Act 2005, under which said sponsorships might be banned. Carolyn Harris, the Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm, backed a ban last summer around the same time a House of Lords committee suggested a ban on shirt sponsorships by 2023.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) told Sky Sports News: “We are currently undertaking a comprehensive review of gambling laws to make sure they are fit for the digital age and a public call for evidence is open for contributions. We are determined to tackle problem gambling in all its forms and the world will build upon our strong track record of introducing measures to protect those at risk. No decisions have been taken.”

Earlier this month, however, English Football League (EFL) Chairman Rick Parry warned that a ban on sponsorships would be “catastrophic” for smaller football clubs, many of which are already struggling with finances due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Parry explained that the EFL was preparing on submitting evidence for the Gambling Act 2005 review, believing that the EFL will be able to make a “good case” that shirt sponsorships have not led to an increase in gambling-related harm.

Stating that there’s “no evidence to suggest that banning sponsorships will reduce the prevalence of problem gambling”, Parry warned that a ban in the wake of the pandemic would be “catastrophic” and that he believes football clubs and leagues should be given the freedom to seek out commercial deals and partnerships.

New Study Claims UK Is Behind Other Countries In Gambling Research

Meanwhile,  a new study from charity Action Against Gambling Harms has found that the UK is behind other countries in the research of gambling. The study, which was carried out by the Policy Institute at King’s College London, found when compared to the USA, Australia, and Canada, there is little research into the damage caused by gambling in the UK.

The study’s researchers found that four aspects of gambling lack evidence, including economic costs, gambling on sport, gambling by children, and gambling by women. According to Gambling Insider, the findings, which will be submitted to the Government as part of its review into the Gambling Act 2005, suggest that other countries have conducted more research into some of these areas, such as gambling by children and women.

Seema Kennedy, the CEO of Action Against Gambling Harms, said in a statement: “This important study shows how much we still don’t know about gambling and its effects on British society. We hope that these findings will galvanise research institutions and policymakers into commissioning further work to fill the gaps.”

Spearhead Studios And Playtech Announce New Partnerships With Betsson Group

While all of the above has been happening, leading gambling operator Betsson Group has announced two new partnerships with game developers Spearhead Studios and Playtech.

Earlier this week, Playtech announced that it had signed a new content agreement with the Betsson Group, under which the developer will provide the operator with its entire selection of live casino content to all Betsson Group brands, including Betsson, Betsafe, EuropeBet, and NordicBet.

The partnership, which has been signed for four years, will see Playtech offer games such as its traditional live casino games and its newly released live slots, such as Age Of The Gods: God Storms and Buffalo Blitz Live.

Ciara Nic Liam, the Commercial Director for Gaming at Betsson Group, said in a statement: “The continued popularity of live casino shows no signs of slowing down, which is why giving our players access to Playtech’s wide breadth of live casino games is a really exciting proposition.”

Shimon Akad, the Chief Operating Officer at Playtech, added: “Betsson Group is a highly respected operator within the online gambling industry, and we are very proud to be working with them. Betsson Group already offers an excellent player experience to its significant international audiences and we are confident that Playtech products and innovations will only serve to enhance this experience further. With a continued focus on safer gambling, Playtech’s core strategy is to offer long-term sustainability and innovation for operators and a safe, enjoyable environment for players.”

Meanwhile, Spearhead Studios, which is owned by gambling operator EveryMatrix Group, has signed a similar agreement under which its entire portfolio of casino games and all future titles will launch with Betsson Group brands in Europe, including Betsafe and Casino Europe.

Ciara Nic Liam said of the Spearhead Studios partnership: “Here at Betsson Group, we are always listening to our customers’ needs and wants. Bringing new and fresh casino content to them is a big part of what we do, and I would like to welcome Spearhead Studios to our casino portfolio. Their games are a great addition to our existing collection.”

Mathias Larsson, the Managing Director at Spearhead Studios, added: “Everyone in iGaming knows who Betsson Group is. They are not only a leading brand across Europe, but also a fun and vibrant company that puts customer service first. I am more than proud to see Spearhead Studios’ games live on their casino. It’s a statement of our commitment to make available high-quality and localised content across many markets.”