The UK-based betting and gambling company Ladbrokes and the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) have revealed they reached a new sponsorship deal for two years, with both the operator and the SPFL making a pledge to promote responsible gambling.
The British bookmaker that has been a sponsor of the four divisions for a couple of years, is to remain as such for at least two more years. The sponsorship agreement between the two parties over the following two seasons is estimated to a total of £5 million.
For some time now, the Scottish football has been put under a wave of criticism because of its relationship with gambling operators. Despite that, Neil Doncaster, the Chief Executive of the SPFL, shared his content with the deal. On the other hand, Ladbrokes emphasised on the fact that it has always been engaged with promoting responsible gambling and responsible gambling advertising across the industry.
The British bookmaker revealed that it is to join forces with the Scottish Professional Football League over the 2018/2019 season to promote responsible gambling among football fans. According to the Chief Executive Officer of the group, Jim Mullen, gambling should bring entertainment to players, and not problems. According to Mr. Mullen, the extended partnership with the SPFL would provide the operator with the chance to promote responsible gambling across the entire industry and work in closer collaboration with football clubs in order to guarantee that sport remains integral.
Gambling Operators Criticised for Sponsorship Deals
In September 2017, the British Labour Party has called for a ban to be imposed on betting operators not to be displayed as sponsors on football teams shirts. The proposal made by the Labour Party came to back the UK Government’s efforts to tackle gambling-related harm and stop problem gambling from spreading among children and more vulnerable people.
The spreading gambling addictions among UK residents with more of them becoming problem gamblers has become one of the major issues local authorities have been aimed to deal with. For the time being, there are sponsorship agreements between nine Premier League football clubs and gambling operators, with the contract being worth over £47 million in the current season.
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has revealed that it has put more efforts in order to help and better protect sportsmen from getting hurt by problem-related harm. In addition, the Association revealed that it is more likely for professional athletes to become gambling addicts as any other person.
According to data provided following an investigation by The Times, 6.1% of professional athletes had reported facing gambling problems, which is about 50% bigger than the level registered by other people. That was the reason why the PFA has implemented support services by building a counsellors network across the UK.
For the time being, youth teams were banned by the Football Association from wearing any gambling companies’ logos as operators’ products have been considered harmful for the health and welfare of young individuals.