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Sponsorship of British sporting clubs by gambling operators

A number of British sports clubs have sponsorship deals with gambling operators. Sports sponsorship falls within the definition of advertising in Section 327(2)(a) of the Gambling Act 2005 (the Act). Such sponsorship deals must comply with the gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising including with regard to the branding of children’s replica kits.

The gambling industry code for socially responsible advertising (the industry code) covers this issue and states at paragraph 33 that:

  • The advertising of adult-only gambling products or product suppliers should never be targeted at children. This applies equally to sponsorship and this code requires that gambling operators will not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for use by children. A clear example of this would be the use of logos on children’s sports shirts which in future would not be permitted under the terms of this code. Children’s shirts and other merchandise will be defined as those that do not attract VAT.

You can read the industry code online. Further information on gambling advertising is available on the Commission’s website.