Football clubs in the United Kingdom may be in danger of losing sponsorship from online gambling companies. The shirt sponsorships may be deemed illegal if the Gambling Commission finds that it encourages children to gamble.
The sponsorships have helped put a lot of money into the football clubs. Mansion made a four-year sponsorship deal worth £34 million with Tottenham in May, while Middlesbrough is in the last year of its multi-million-pound deal with 888 Holdings.
That's a lot of money that could disappear for the teams should the Gambling Commission decide the logos of the online gambling companies on team shirts will encourage children to gamble.
Britain has already passed a law that will legalize and regulate online gambling. The British Gambling Act will come into effect in September 2007, but officials are still ironing out some of the details.
The commission is still in the process of drawing up regulations for the industry. One of their focuses is to prevent problem gambling and influencing vulnerable people such as children, which is one of the reasons they're examining the sponsorship deals.