The UK is considering a ban on gambling company ads on the front of Premier League soccer jerseys. Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment just announced it would advertise its sportsbook on the front of the Washington Capital’s NHL jerseys.
The news highlights the countries’ contrasting sports betting history. Bookmakers have been legal in the UK for roughly 60 years. Meanwhile, the US has only recently lifted its sports betting ban. As a result, the UK is now tightening regulations to address problem areas, while the US is preoccupied with opening the floodgates.
Gambling Sponsored Jerseys Out, Booze In?
In December, the UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) launched a review of the 2005 Gambling Act. The final white paper isn’t expected until the end of the year. On Thursday, however, UK media reported that a ban of gambling ads on EPL jerseys.
“We are pretty sure there is going to be an end to front-of-shirt advertising,” a Sportsmail source close to the DCMS review said. “Everybody is expecting that. Reformers want more but a lot of politicians are worried about the lower leagues.”
Currently nine Premier League teams feature a gambling sponsor on the front of their jerseys. The deals represent roughly $80 million in revenue for the teams. Even if the DCMS recommended the ban, it would still need Parliament’s approval, pushing out implementation until at least 2023.
Meanwhile, the UK is looking at loosening one of its sports regulations. Since 1985, Premier League fans have only been allowed to drink alcohol during half time. Tracey Crouch, a former UK sports minister, is pushing to change that.
“We do have this bizarre situation where you can go to Headingley and drink as a cricket fan, but go to Elland Road and you can’t drink as a football fan,” Crouch said.
If the alcohol regulations were to change, it would help some of the smaller clubs generate much needed revenue — especially if they were to lose their sports betting jersey sponsorships.
NFL TV Ads and NHL Jerseys
Meanwhile, as the UK looks to tighten advertising regulations, the US is embracing sports betting ad revenue. This is the first year the NFL is allowing sportsbooks to advertise during games. The fledgling US operators didn’t waste any time. In the NFL’s opening week, sportsbooks spent of $21 million for ad slots.
Last month, the NHL board of governors approved of a measure that would allow advertising on NHL jerseys. Teams could secure sponsorships for a 3-inch by 3.5-inch patch starting in the 2022-23 season.
The Washington Capitals jumped at the chance. On Friday, Caesars Entertainment announced it had signed a multi-year deal with the NHL team. The Caesars Sportsbook logo will appear on the team’s home and third jerseys worn at the Capital One Arena.