A study has found that football fans were subjected to 11,000 gambling messages during the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
The study was commissioned by 5 News and analysed social media posts along with TV and radio coverage and has raised key concerns regarding the sheer volume of gambling messages, social media content not clearly labelled as ads and insufficient safer gambling messaging.
Six matches were broadcast live on television over the opening weekend with viewers being shown 6,966 gambling messages, including logos on shirts, pitch side hoardings and commercial breaks. However, only a fifth were accompanied by messages relating to safer gambling. Sky Sports News broadcasted 600 gambling messages during just two hours of coverage and TalkSport featured at least one gambling advert during each commercial break.
Premier League clubs have agreed to no longer use gambling companies as a front of shirt sponsor from the 2025/26 season but the study said the move is “unlikely to significantly reduce the frequency of gambling messages, as it fails to address the presence of logos on other locations such as pitch side hoardings, while clubs will still be allowed to carry logos on shirt-sleeves.”
A spokesperson for the Betting and Gaming Council said that members had committed 20% of TV and radio advertising to safer gambling messages and “Our members have also introduced new age gating rules for advertising on social media platforms, targeting ads to those aged 25 and over unless a platform can verifiably prove that its age gating systems can prevent under-18s from accessing gambling advertising content.”