Ladbrokes & SPFL Agree Sponsorship Extension, Vow to Promote Responsible Gambling
The deal ensures the bookmaker will remain as the title sponsor for the top four divisions of Scottish football until at least 2020, in a deal worth up to £5m over the course of the next two seasons.
The agreement comes against a backdrop of criticism aimed at association football in Britain, and its connections with betting firms. The Labour Party recently called for a ban on betting company shirt sponsorships, in light of the fact that nine of the 20 Premier League clubs in England currently have such deals in place.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster stated he is “thrilled” at the new deal: “We have enjoyed a superb partnership since they first came on board in 2015 and are confident that will continue and flourish until 2020 and hopefully beyond,” said Doncaster of the improved contract.
He was also keen to emphasise that the deal does not represent a lack of commitment to helping problem gamblers: “We are also aware of our social responsibilities as a senior professional league in Scotland and will continue to promote a message of responsible gambling in conjunction with Ladbrokes.”
Last year, the UK Gambling Commission highlighted concerns that Scotland is the UK’s gambling “hotbed”, with over two-thirds of adult Scots placing a bet annually.
CEO of the Ladbrokes Coral Group, Jim Mullen, said his company had played a key role in promoting responsible gambling initiatives, including connecting executive pay to responsible gambling targets. As part of plans for the 2018/19 season, Ladbrokes intends to work closely with the SPFL to promote responsible gambling within the game and among the wider football fan base.
Football beats at the heart of Scottish life, the cafes and canteens echo to the football conversation every week and we are delighted to be part of that conversation. In being at the heart of the discussion we also want to make sure that it reflects that gambling should be fun, not a problem, and that is why our continued sponsorship will enable us to promote responsible gambling and work with clubs to ensure that the integrity of the sport is upheld. – Jim Mullen, CEO, Ladbrokes Coral Group
He continued: “We take our role as a sponsor seriously and we take our role to help customers keep gambling fun just as seriously.”