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MP says bookies will soon be banned from shirt sponsorships

LABOUR MP Carolyn Harris says she was confident that bookmakers will soon be banned from front-of-shirt sponsorships in sport.

Harris, the chairwoman of the gambling-related harm all-party parliamentary group, said today that the ban was “one of the most obvious things to do” with the legislation, which is set to be passed in the autumn or early in the new year.

Nine of the 20 Premier League clubs are currently sponsored by bookmakers, rising to 17 out of 24 among Championship sides.

A Lords select committee recommended a ban earlier this month, but says it should not come into effect below Premier League level before 2023.

Despite the financial strain of the coronavirus crisis, Harris said lower-league clubs would need to wean themselves off betting sponsorship in the same way they had to cope with tobacco advertising becoming illegal.

“From a very, very early age we’ve normalised the association between football and gambling. This is where we get this problem in later life.

“Young people grow up believing to become involved in gambling is completely normal without knowing anything about the consequences of when it crosses that line.”

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