BookiesponsorshipsunderfireasFAcutsallgamblingties

June23,20172:18pm。

byMichaelMaguire

AFTERathree-monthreviewintothestateofgamblinginEnglishsoccer,theFootballAssociationhasterminateditsrelationshipswithallbettingfirms。

Thatincludesthemutuallyagreeddisintegrationofafour-year,£4milliondealwithLadbrokesoneoftheUKsmostprominentbookmakers。

Inanofficialstatement,theFArevealedthedecisionwasmadewhentheboardmetlastmonth。

AttheMayFAboardmeeting,itwasagreedthattheFAwouldendallsponsorshipswithbettingcompaniesstartingfromtheendofthe2016-17season,thereleasesaid。

Thedecisionwasmadefollowingathree-monthreviewoftheFA’sapproachtoitasagoverningbodytakingbettingsponsorship,whilstbeingresponsiblefortheregulationofsportsbettingwithinthesport’srules。

Asaconsequence,theFAhasmutuallyagreedwithLadbrokesthatitscurrentpartnershipwithTheFAwillbeterminatedfromJune2017。

TheFAwillcontinuetoworkwithbettingcompanies,includingLadbrokes,astheyplayakeyroleinsharinginformationonsuspectbettingpatternsandsohelpinregulatingthegame。

FAchiefexecutiveMartinGlennpraisedLadbrokesforitsprofessionalismandunderstandingaboutourchangeofpolicyaroundgambling。

HisoppositenumberatLadbrokesCoral,JimMullen,insistedthecompanywouldcontinuetoplayanactiveroleinidentifyingandreportingroguepunterswithinthesport。

WeunderstandtheFAsdecisionregardingtheircommercialpartnershipsongambling,hesaid。

Footballisapassionofours,andourcustomers,andweremaincommittedtoworkingwiththeFAtoensuretheintegrityandtrustofthesportismaintainedforthefansofthegameandthemillionsofcustomerswhoenjoybettingonitweekinandweekout。

ThenewscomesasaresultofmountingpressureontheFAtoreconsideritscommercialtiestothebettingindustryamidastringofgambling-relatedscandals。

ThemostnotableofthoseinvolvedformerEnglandmidfielderJoeyBarton,whowashitwithan18-monthbananda£30,000fineearlierthisyearforbettingactivitiesdatingbackoveradecade。

Heisoneofseveralfootballingidentitiestohavecriticisedthegoverningbodysconflictingmessageongambling。

InacomprehensivestatementpublishedinApril,Bartonsaid:IthinkiftheFAistrulyseriousabouttacklingthecultureofgamblinginfootball,itneedstolookatitsowndependenceonthegamblingcompanies,theirroleinfootballandinsportsbroadcasting,ratherthanjustblamingtheplayerswhoplaceabet。

Whatdoesthismeanforclubsandbookmakers?

Thiskindofreactionfromfootballsgoverningbodieshasbeenalongtimecoming。

AsimilarsituationcouldariseinScotland,wheresupportergroupsarecallingforwholesalechangestothewaygamblingisregulatedandpromotedwithinthegame。

OfmostimmediateinterestiswheretheEnglishFAwilltakethingsfromhere。

Couldthisspellthebeginningoftheendforlucrativesponsorshipdealsbetweenfootballclubsandbettingfirms?

Duringthe2016-17EnglishPremierLeagueseason,exactlyhalfofthedivisions20teamsworegamblingbrandsontheirshirtfronts。

Theywere:

AFCBournemouth(Mansion)

Burnley(DafaBet)

CrystalPalace(Mansion)

HullCity(SportPesa)

StokeCity(Bet365)

Sunderland(DafaBet)

SwanseaCity(BetEast)

Watford(138。

com)

WestBromwichAlbion(UK-K8。

com)

WestHamUnited(BetWay)

Thattrendcontinuesinthelowerleagues,withthelogosof32Red(LeedsUnited),DafaBet(BlackburnRovers),Tempobet(BurtonAlbion)andespecially888(BirminghamCity,Brentford,NottinghamForest,PrestonNorthEnd)heavilyrepresentedinthesecond-tierChampionshiplastseason。

Earlierthisweek,BrentfordsignedanewdealwithLeoVegasoneoftheworldsfastest-growingonlinecasinoandsportsbettingoperators。

YoumaynoticethatnoneoftheclubsmentionedthusfarhavefeaturedatthetopendoftheEPLtableinrecentyears,butthatdoesnotmeanthebigboysarenotenjoyingajumbo-sizedsliceofthegamblingpie。

WilliamHillisanofficialpartnerofbothChelseaandTottenhamHotspur,whiletheManchestergiantshavesimilardealswithBetsafe(ManCity)andMarathonBet(ManUnited)。

SotightareLiverpoolandBetVictorthatJurgenKlopp,thepopularmanageratAnfield,isnowthefaceofthebettingbrandsUK-facingadvertisingcampaign。

ArsenalscoffersbenefitfromaslewofregionalwageringpartnersinAfrica,AsiaandEurope,andthatmaybewhereclubsandbookiesfindthemselvesinaspotofbothergoingforward。

RecentchangestoregulatorypolicywillseetheGamblingCommissionbegintokeepamuchclosereyeonUK-licensedgamingandwageringfirmsthattargetoffshoremarkets。

TheGamblingCommissionhasannouncedthatitwillbegintorequirelicenseestoprovidedatainrespectoftheirgroupcompanies’activitiesinotherjurisdictions,theregulatorconfirmedinapressreleaseearlierthismonth。

Thechangeisdrivenbyconcernssurroundingrevenuesgeneratedfrom‘greymarkets’andaneedto‘keepcrimeoutofgambling’。

ThisnewagendacouldhaveasignificantimpactontheprofitabilityofinternetcasinossuchasMansion。

comand32Red。

com,whichgeneratemuchoftheirrevenuefromoverseas。

ItcouldalsoshedonlightonthesuspicionthatseveralofBritainsleadingonlinebookmakers,includingBet365。

com,drawthebulkoftheirbusinessfromChinaandthewiderAsianregion。