In the wake of Wayne Rooney’s move to Derby County, the debate over whether gambling companies should be allowed to sponsor sports clubs has been sparked again.
Rooney’s move has directly led to a large sponsorship deal with online gambling site 32Red, and many are campaigning for gambling-provider sponsors to be disallowed in sport. When Rooney plays next year, he will wear shirt number 32, a decision that many suspect is an attempt to find a sly way around the ban on gambling adverts during live sports.
In 2018, top UK gambling companies agreed a ban on all gambling ads during live sport before 9pm. This is partly due to the likelihood of children watching, and will include games that start before 9pm but end after the watershed. The move was also praised for reducing the likelihood of harm to those struggling with gambling; adverts that encourage sports betting during the match have a sense of urgency about them, as the time to place a bet is limited. It should be noted that this ban does not include horse racing.
As things currently stand, the only sponsorship that is disallowed is tobacco products, but many are calling for gambling companies to be boycotted also. Gambling sponsor logos are not shown on kids’ kits that are available to purchase, however they are shown on adult kits, the team’s kit, pitch-side adverts, and sponsor backdrops during interviews.
Will banning gambling sponsorships have an effect on the UK’s gambling habits? There are plenty of people voicing opinions on both sides, and with Wayne Rooney’s recent headlines, it looks like the debate won’t be over any time soon.
Do you think gambling adverts of all kinds should be banned from sport? Let us know in the comments.