Volume: 15 Issue: 6
In light of the recent controversy emanating from Joey Barton’s 18-month suspension from football on betting related charges, and the betting integrity issues surrounding Wayne Shaw’s ‘pie-gate’ incident, the relationship between football and gambling has been thrust back into the public arena. Barton, in comments on his website following his sanctioning by the FA, called into question what he claims is the hypocrisy of the FA’s approach to stringent enforcement of its rules relating to gambling whilst at the same time entering into close commercial ties with gambling operators. As alluded to by Barton, the FA has a long standing tradition of tie-ups with gambling operators, most recently signing up to a long-term sponsorship deal with Ladbrokes in June 2016. In addition, gambling advertisements are prominently displayed during the broadcasts of live matches and a substantial portion of current Premier League clubs have a betting company as their shirt sponsor. Mike Llewellyn of CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, in this article considers the implications of the publicity brought to the FA’s relationship by the recent incidents set out above, as well as evaluating whether it would be appropriate and viable for the FA to cut its close commercial ties with gambling companies and replace these with a football betting levy (‘Football Betting Levy’) similar to the Horseracing Betting Levy.