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Bookies could be BANNED from sponsoring football teams



Tom Watson: Bookies could be BANNED from sponsoring football teams

Labour Party pledges to tackle ‘hidden epidemic’ of addiction and protect children from early exposure to gambling


Football clubs will be banned from signing shirt sponsorship deals with betting companies under a Labour government, as the party pledges to tackle a “hidden epidemic” of addiction and protect children from early exposure to gambling.

The policy, unveiled by deputy leader Tom Watson, is understood to be the first of a series of proposals to curb the power of gambling firms, ramping up pressure on the government ahead of its own review of the industry.

Watson, who is also the shadow minister for digital, culture media and sport, said a Labour government would encourage the Football Association to implement its own ban but was prepared to legislate if necessary.


Football has to play its part in tackling Britain’s hidden epidemic of gambling addiction,” he said.

Shirt sponsorship sends out a message that football clubs don’t take problem gambling among their own fans seriously enough. It puts gambling brands in front of fans of all ages, not just at matches but on broadcasts and highlights packages on both commercial television and the BBC.

Nine of the 20 Premier League football clubs – including Newcastle, West Ham and Everton – have shirt sponsorship deals with gambling companies, worth a combined £47.3m this season alone.

A further 16 clubs in England’s second and third tiers have similar deals, in many cases with firms that do relatively little business in the UK but are using the global popularity of the Premier League to woo customers in Asia and elsewhere.

Football Association rules already prohibit youth teams from wearing clothing that displays products considered “detrimental to the welfare, health or general interests of young persons” – including gambling. Labour sources pointed out that the FA’s own logic should extend to the millions of children who watch football. Last month the FA announced it was ending its sponsorship deals with betting companies and terminated a contract with Ladbrokes worth about £4m a year.


Watson also drew a comparison with laws passed in 2005 to stop cigarette firms sponsoring sport.

Just as tobacco companies were banned from sponsoring sporting events and putting their logos on branded goods because of the harm smoking can cause,” he said, “it’s right that we recognise the harm problem gambling does and take gambling logos off football shirts.

Watson said figures from industry watchdog the Gambling Commission, which last month indicated a rise in the number of problem gamblers to 430,000, meant football should distance itself from the industry.

With new evidence showing gambling addiction rising, at huge cost to individuals and their families, to society and to the taxpayer, the clubs should follow the FA’s lead,” he said.

Recent research by academics at Goldsmiths, University of London, found that gambling is now so inextricably linked to football that television watchers cannot avoid industry branding, even if they don’t watch commercial TV. In a study of three episodes of the BBC’s flagship football highlights programme Match of the Day, researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London found that gambling logos or branding appeared on screen for between 71% and 89% of the show’s running time.


Despite the fact that Sky broadcasts adverts, the research found that in some cases the percentage of screen time enjoyed by gambling firms during a live football broadcast was as low as 68%. This figure was for a game between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, with neither team sponsored by a betting firm. Another game, between West Ham and Liverpool, featured some form of gambling advert for 88% of the programme.

Professor Rebecca Cassidy said the similarity between Match of the Day and Sky was partly down to the fact that live games feature long periods of pre- and post-match analysis during which gambling logos do not appear.

By contrast, highlights shows tend to feature close-up shots showing advertising billboards in and shirts, while many post-match interviews are conducted in front of hoardings festooned with company logos.

What surprised us when we looked at a small sample of live football matches and highlights was the sheer quantity and the fact that the BBC was not a ‘safe space’,” said Cassidy. “Gambling advertising has become part of the fabric of our stadiums and whether you’re watching highlights on the BBC or live matches on Sky you will be exposed to large amounts of it.

She pointed to the harsher regime in Australia, where gambling adverts were recently banned during sports events shown before the watershed.


The DCMS is due to publish a report in early November detailing the government’s proposals on gambling advertising and controversial fixed-odds betting terminals.

Tracey Crouch, the minister for sport, is understood to be keen to implement tough measures on FOBTs in particular, but is facing opposition from the Treasury, which is mindful of the impact of any new restrictions on tax payments from gambling firms.


Giro Win

Pragmatic Play Grows in Paraguay and Brazil with Giro Win





Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is achieving further expansion in Paraguay and Brazil after signing a multi-vertical deal with Giro Win.

The deal encompasses the supplier’s Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports products, bringing its portfolio to an even greater LatAm audience.

Pragmatic Play’s Slots portfolio has seen numerous player-favourite additions in recent weeks that will soon be available for Giro Win’s costumers, including new titles in the iconic Big Bass franchise as well as the renowned John Hunter series. The agreement also includes award-winning staples such as Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus.

The supplier’s Live Casino content stretches from casino classics such as roulette and blackjack to captivating live game shows such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Snakes & Ladders Live that are also part of the agreement.


Also included is Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports, powered by a real-time physics engine and providing life-like renditions of popular sports such as Formula 1, greyhound racing and horse racing, on-demand to sports bettors.

As it further expands across LatAm, Pragmatic Play continues its commercial trajectory and ambitions of delivering fresh content to even more players than ever before.

Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “With LatAm remaining a source of commercial growth for Pragmatic Play, its latest partnership with Giro Win underpins its ongoing commitment to bringing a dynamic entertainment offering to more consumers in the region.

“Giro Win is an esteemed operator in the Latin American market and Pragmatic Play is proud of this new partnership that will see its Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports soon integrated to its platform.”

Hélio Cuevas, Director of Giro Win, said: “Pragmatic Play’s portfolio boasts some of the best games in the industry and it will be a welcome addition to our offering. We have no doubt the response to the large quantity of Slots, Live Casino and Virtual Sports titles that Pragmatic Play offers will match the overwhelming reception they have already experienced worldwide.


“Giro Win and Pragmatic Play share a vision of powering up new possibilities for players and delivering an unmatched experience and we are delighted to now count them as a partner.”

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iGaming Industry

Pragmatic Play to Have Significant Presence at SBC Summit Latinoamérica





Pragmatic Play, a leading content supplier to the iGaming industry, is set to be in attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica.

Exhibiting at stands G40 and H40, Pragmatic Play’s leading portfolio of multi-product content will be on display to cement its standing as the leading supplier to the Latin American market.

Pragmatic Play will be a Gold Headline Sponsor of the event, where the team will join attendees at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Miami from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November.

The conference forms part of its LatAm Mission Itinerary, a campaign to inform delegates across leading industry events how Pragmatic Play can twist, transform, and elevate gaming experiences. Marking Mission #12, the provider’s attendance will be figure-headed by its Spaceman, the main character from its market-leading crash game title.


The Pragmatic Play team will be on hand at its stands to greet both current and potential clients and detail the advancements it has made in the realms of Slots, Live Casino, Virtual Sports, and Bingo.

Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “Pragmatic Play is thrilled to announce its attendance at the upcoming SBC Summit Latinoamérica and looks forward to welcoming attendees and gaining a deeper understanding of the lively Latin American market.

As Mission #12 in Pragmatic Play’s LatAm itinerary, it has a lot in store for the conference and will reaffirm its commitment to providing new dynamic experiences that allow its partners to excel.”

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Henry Berger

Pragmatic Play Partners with Starkbet





Pragmatic Play, a leading content provider to the iGaming industry, is celebrating the signing of a new partnership with Starkbet, enhancing its standing across Latin America.

Like many partnerships in the region, this latest tie-up with Starkbet includes three of Pragmatic Play’s popular verticals. Its Slot provision will see players able to enjoy recent releases including Rocket Blast Megaways and Diamond Cascade, as well as a host of award-winning popular hits like Sugar Rush and Gates of Olympus among 300+ quality titles.

The operator’s Live Casino offering will be significantly stronger once the deal goes live, with consistent top-performing titles such as Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Mega Wheel being available for players along with a comprehensive collection of classic games such as roulette and blackjack.

Pragmatic Play’s Virtual Sports titles which offer a wide range of realistic games to complement real-life sporting schedules also form part of the new deal. Products like Force 1 and Horse and Greyhound Racing are among the sports soon to be available, giving bettors on-demand opportunities to enjoy a large selection of bet markets.


Victor Arias, Vice President of Latin American Operations at ARRISE powering Pragmatic Play, said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome the Starkbet team on board as Pragmatic Play’s latest partner in Latin America. It’s another fantastically strong brand that we’re delighted to see Pragmatic Play bringing its content to and we’re sure the relationship is going to work out incredibly well for both parties.”

Henry Berger, CEO at Starkbet, said: “Starkbet has always been a popular choice for LatAm players and that will be even more true now we will have content from Pragmatic Play in our portfolio. Its games are among the most requested among our players and we’re going to able to offer them so much more as a result of this agreement.”

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