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October 4 2022 4.04am

Is Palace ditching their gambling sponsor a sign of the times?

August 20 2022

Selhurst Park

Selhurst Park

After a two-year contract Crystal Palace have let go of their primary sponsor, the betting company W88 which was signed in August 2020, writes Matt Church.

Is this a trend amongst clubs, and will gambling sponsorships be banned in the near future?

Nine clubs in the Premier League season of 2021/22 had a gambling sponsorship as their main sponsor, playing with a gambling logo on the front of their shirts. Amongst these clubs were Crystal Palace with the logo of W88.

However, times have now changed and the club has since then let go of their main gambling sponsor and has instead signed a multi-year contract with a used car website called Cinch.

The new sponsorship didn’t help them in the season opener, and in general, it is quite a shift in sponsorship as well as it is the first time they will not have a gambling sponsor since 2014.

Whether this is a coincidence or a thought-through decision, it is raising questions about the durability of gambling sponsorships amongst the clubs and its effect on the gambling laws.

Banning gambling sponsorships and gambling or not?

Whether it should be allowed to have a gambling sponsor or not is an ongoing discussion amongst clubs and governments.

Being sponsored by alcohol brands was banned many years ago, but gambling sponsorships are still not banned. Maybe it will come in the near future?

However, at this current moment, any decision on the matter has been stalled due to Boris Johnson’s resignation. The gambling sponsorships remain unchanged as well as the law on gambling in the UK remains the same.

With fairly loose legislation, since the Betting and Gaming Act was enforced in 1960, it is still legal to visit sites like to find free slots or to engage in other types of casino card games like poker or blackjack. And the matter of gambling sponsorships remains a pending decision.

Clubs that have signed new gambling sponsorships

Even though Crystal Palace has ditched their gambling sponsor, other clubs are announcing new gambling sponsorships.

Among these are Fulham FC, and the club has signed with Palace’s former sponsor W88. Some dissatisfaction has shown in Fulham's fan scare as almost half of them did not approve of this newly signed deal. This only underlines the fact that things might be changing.

Fulham are not alone in signing gambling sponsors as Everton has made a sponsorship deal with the crypto betting site

And even though there have been outraged audiences, clubs such as West Ham, Brentford, Newcastle, Leeds, Southampton and Bournemouth will all play in shirts presenting a betting sponsor at the front in this coming season.

Even though these clubs will be sponsored by gambling or betting service there is still a decline from last year, with a total of 8 gambling sponsors amongst the 20 clubs.

Whether there will be one more is still unsure as Nottingham Forest is currently without a sponsor, which might raise the number to 9.

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