The controversial deal between the English FA and various bookmakers to live stream games for the FA Cup for their customers who placed a bet on particular matches, is under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
The deal that involves IMG agency received heavy criticism and could lead to punishments for the betting firms and the sport federations involved, such as financial penalties, formal warnings or even licence revocation!
The chief executive of UKGC, the body of the government that regulates gambling, Neil McArthur commented: “Our investigations into that matter are ongoing. I understand why there are concerns, and to be clear we already require gambling operators to market, advertise or engage in sponsorship in a socially responsible way. We are in touch with all operators in the deal to find out what they did to satisfy themselves.
The betting and gaming firms involved include Bet365, Coral, Unibet, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Betfair and Paddy Power.
The Gambling Commission added: “We expect gambling operators to ensure, when agreeing commercial deals relevant to sport, that such arrangements are consistent with keeping gambling safe.”
An FA spokesman said that the media deals were concluded, via IMG, before the decision was taken to sever sponsorships with betting companies, and that the FA will review the sale of betting rights before the deals are renewed for the 2024-25 season.
“The FA agreed a media rights deal with IMG in early 2017, part of which permits them to sell the right to show live footage or clips of FA Cup matches to bookmakers. This deal was agreed before we made a clear decision on the FA’s relationship with gambling companies in June 2017 when we ended our partnership with Ladbrokes”.
“We will review this element of the media rights sales process ahead of tendering rights to the new cycle from the 2024-25 season onwards. Leagues and clubs continue to govern their own relationships with gambling companies.”Follow us on