A huge shake-up of gambling laws in British football could lead to a general ban on sponsorship of betting, reports The Times.
The report suggests that ministers have committed to reviewing the 2005 Gaming Law and that the regulations regarding sponsorship of jerseys and advertising for games of chance in sport in general will be reviewed.
As many as 10 of the 20 Premier League clubs have betting companies as jersey sponsors, including Aston Villa, which signed a record deal with W88 in June.
The Times states: “Even if the government does not impose a ban on the sponsorship of jerseys, it is understood that the Labor opposition would seek to introduce amendments to any new legislation proposing that it be banned.”
A spokesperson for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sports told The Times, “We are committed to reviewing the law on games of chance to make sure the regulations are suitable for the digital age. “The government will not hesitate to take further action to help protect people from the harm associated with gambling.”
Villa is one of many Premier League and EFL teams to benefit from sponsorship agreements with betting companies and was supported by 32Red last season.
The EFL is also sponsored by Sky Bet, which means it is most likely more at risk than the Premier League if the government decides to withdraw the bet on bets.
A Premier League spokesperson said: “Betting and sports have a historic association. Government has a critical role to play in ensuring an effective regulatory regime and helping to protect people from the harm associated with gambling.
“All of our clubs have always fully complied with all regulatory requirements and will continue to do so. The Premier League is eager to contribute to the government’s review. “