Premier League Clubs Face Loss Of $152M From U.K. Gambling Crackdown
Premier League clubs face the loss of up to £90M ($152M) of income "because of a clampdown by the gambling regulator on online betting operators that use the league’s international popularity to promote their websites to Asian audiences," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton are among a number of top clubs "that have sponsorship deals with online operators that take very few bets from UK customers but benefit from the Premier League’s popularity in Asian betting markets." One such company is Dafabet, which sponsors Aston Villa’s shirts. Others, such as SBOBet, 188 Bet and 138.com, "pay clubs for perimeter advertising at home matches, but often in Asian languages, in order to win business from people watching overseas." However, this type of deal "is at risk" after the Gambling Commission ruled that from August it would grant U.K. licenses 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.” The new rules are being implemented because the U.K. "is changing how online gambling is regulated, shifting the focus from where gambling is supplied to where it happens." Among the aims "are protecting players and guarding against illegal betting" (FT, 5/6).