Asian facing football sponsorship deals by sports betting operators have come under threat from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), as it ruled that from August it would grant licences only to operators that are “a British facing business and either currently transact with British consumers or have a clear business plan for doing so”
Barclays Premier League football clubs may face a loss of up to £90 million of income if the UK government force a clampdown on Premier League online sports betting and gambling advertising targeting customers in Asia.
New advertising regulations set by the UKGC aims to shift the focus from where gambling is supplied to where it happens. Among the aims are protecting players and guarding against illegal betting.
The Premier League is the most popular betting market in Asia, with the majority of games broadcast throughout the region. Several bookmakers targeting the Asian betting market have marketed their brands on stadium perimeter boards in Asian languages.
Advertising from Asian facing bookmakers has become very lucrative for English football clubs. In order to secure perimeter advertising throughout stadiums, bookmakers have become betting partners with numerous Premier League football clubs.
The 2013/14 Premier League season sees Asian facing bookmaker – SBOBet, as official ‘Asian Betting Partner’ to football clubs – West Ham United , Swansea City, Southampton FC , Hull City and Norwich City. Other sponsorship deals see Manchester City partnered by 188Bet, Crystal Palace sponsored by 12Bet. The new legislation will further effect shirt sponsorships, such as Aston Villa who are currently sponsored by Dafabet.
David Jennings, gambling analyst at Davy Research, said: “By not allowing ‘advertising only’ licences, it seems inevitable that many of the Asia-facing businesses will be forced to cease marketing activity in the UK.