UKGC Warns Sports Teams

UKGC Warns Sports Teams

Thursday, 6 November 2014

The head of the UK's Gambling Commission has warned sports teams in the UK to steer clear of using unlicensed operators as sponsors.

In a letter directed to various clubs across the country, UKGC Director Nick Tofiluk explained that all remote gambling operators now need a licence to operate within the UK. He went on to note that the UKGC is aware of various deals between teams and operators that are not licensed by the UK.

"We are aware that in some cases commercial partnership arrangements (which include sponsorship) are in place between sports clubs or bodies and remote gambling operators who do not hold a Commission license."

Although the warning doesn't necessarily mean that business ties will need to be severed, it does mean that unlicensed operators and teams need to make it clear that UK residents can't use the former's online services.

However, if the clubs don't work to ensure there's no confusion, they could fall foul of UK gambling laws in two ways according to the letter:

"The risk of committing offences by virtue of an unlicensed third party sponsor failing to prevent consumers based in Great Britain from accessing its services.

“The impact on the overall effort to combat match fixing through corrupt betting of promoting unlicensed operators in foreign markets."

According to a recent report by the Financial Times, the new laws could mean clubs like Arsenal will lose out on millions of pounds each year in sponsorship revenue. Moreover, the Premier League as a while could loss up to £90 million each year through non-licensed operators being forced out of the market.

Tags: Gambling Commission, regulation