Football: Gambling

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 1st December 2021.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps in the forthcoming gambling White Paper to end football club sponsorship by gambling companies which do not have an operational website and which offer gambling via cryptocurrency.

Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if she will take steps in the forthcoming gambling White Paper to end front of shirt sponsorship by gambling companies which do not have an operational website and offer gambling via cryptocurrency.

Photo of Chris Philp Chris Philp The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

All gambling companies providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain, wherever they are based, must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with the conditions and codes of practice of their operating licences. Operators who provide services marketed under a different brand as part of a ‘white label’ agreement are held accountable by the Commission for the actions of their commercial partners, and are expected to carry out all necessary due diligence to ensure the agreement will not compromise their own regulatory compliance.

Licensed gambling operators and their white label partners are entitled to enter into commercial arrangements with sporting bodies, as long as any sponsorship activities are carried out in a socially responsible way. The Commission expects licensees to ensure that all parties are aware of, and compliant with, the relevant advertising and sponsorship rules and regulations.

Operators are also required to declare the arrangements through which they accept payment from customers to the Commission. This includes changes to the payment methods (including cryptoassets) or payment processors made available to customers to pay for gambling services. To date, no licensed operators have notified the Gambling Commission that they are accepting digital currencies or cryptoassets directly as payments but several have reported indirectly accepting funds derived from cryptoassets via a third party payment provider. In these cases, funds accepted by the licensee for gambling have been converted to fiat currency (£).

The Government is looking closely at the evidence regarding sports sponsorship by gambling operators and ‘white label’ arrangements as part of the wide-ranging Review of the Gambling Act. We will publish a White Paper setting out our conclusions and next steps in the coming months.

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