Gambling Plans Derailed by Premier League Clubs After Ministerial Resignations

The Premier League teams will not vote on whether to ban gambling sponsors until at least July 26. Monday, the Premier League sent a letter to the clubs requesting a decision this week.

The Premier League, the highest level of the English football league system, has reportedly delayed a vote on a voluntary ban on gambling companies sponsoring team shirts.

The action comes when political upheaval in Westminster, triggered by Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s resignation, threatens to halt sector reforms.

Since a white paper on gaming was due, the league wished to gauge public opinion before the government took action.

But on Thursday morning, Chris Philp, the minister in charge of gaming, resigned, leaving clubs with uncertainties regarding a ban on jersey sponsors.

The U-Turn

This week, it was reported that the English Premier League had asked its clubs to vote on a proposal to cease sponsorship relationships with betting companies over three years.

According to BBC sources, the Premier League is attempting to convince teams to voluntarily remove betting businesses from team shirts within three years.

The League is rumored to have already spoken with the government, suggesting to DCMS Gambling Minister Chris Philp at the time that sponsors on the front of shirts might be removed, but insignia could remain. The Minister was believed to be investigating the concept.

The plan is for a voluntary ban to take effect at the start of the following season. However, existing contracts and courses would be permitted to continue as usual until the end of the 2024-25 academic year.

However, Philp is one of more than 50 MPs who have resigned in protest of Boris Johnson’s leadership, and the Prime Minister has announced that he will resign as Conservative Party leader. The League has apparently opted to halve its vote until the political climate improves.

Twenty of the League’s biggest clubs, including Arsenal, Liverpool, and Manchester United, have requested a vote on the proposal. For the motion to be adopted, fourteen clubs must vote in its favor.

There was a clause stating that the prohibition could be lifted with two years’ notice under specific circumstances. On July 26, according to club executives, the ideas will be discussed in a shareholder meeting.

The Department of Culture, Media, and Sport were expected to decide on the future of betting in the Premier League by July 21. The White Paper on the reform of the 2005 Gambling Act was scheduled to be published later this month.

According to reports, the League has initiated talks with the government. On Thursday, DCMS Gambling Minister Chris Philp was informed that the sponsor on the front of his shirt could be removed, but the badges on the sleeves might remain. It was anticipated that the Minister would consider it.

What is Next for the Bill

Since 2020, there has been speculation of the government intervening to prevent betting firm logos from appearing on football shirts. It seems that this is gradually becoming a reality, however slowly.

Due to the delay in publishing the white paper, teams have already begun discussions with new sponsors for the upcoming season without being aware of the restriction. This indicates that the ban will likely not take effect until at least the 23-24 season.

Earlier this week, the DCMS oversight committee questioned the Croydon South representative on gaming policy. The White Paper was initially scheduled to be released in the spring, but the date was changed.

In a statement issued yesterday, the departing Minister stated that the study is “with No 10” and that the White Paper, which contains “strong measures to safeguard people from the horrors of gambling addiction,” remains on schedule for publication.

The government is anticipated to decide on July 21, so the Premier League clubs will vote before then to avoid any potential ban. If the “yes” vote prevails, betting sponsorships will not be permitted to resume at the beginning of the 22-23 season.

However, existing subsidies are allowed to remain in place until the conclusion of the 24-25 season.

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