Parimatch CEO Sergey Portnov has lamented a potential ban on betting sponsorships within sports kits, amid reports of the measure being considered as part of the UK Gambling Act Review.
With two ongoing partnerships with Leicester City and Everton, it is clear what the Parimatch CEO stands to lose from a potential ban.
Despite the potential lack of objectivity that may bring, however, Portnov raises the valid argument that sports betting is being "unreasonable blamed" for problem gambling.
In quotes sent to Gambling Insider, he said: “Sports betting is being unreasonably blamed for creating the environment for problem gambling, while in reality the vast majority of players are sports enthusiasts who play responsibly. Moreover, legal operators have robust procedures in place to prevent underage players and the small minority who may be at risk from problem gambling.
“With sport all around the world reeling from the huge economic impact of COVID, such an arbitrary move will be a massive blow to small and medium clubs and organisations who don’t have the cushion that the elite teams do."
Portnov also argues third-party organisations will lose out from any ban in the UK, as well as sports clubs themselves.
The Parimatch CEO added: “Commentators underestimate how sports and sponsorship contracts are interdependent, and so banning sports betting advertising will not only damage sports – and the fans in particular who will feel the impact – but all the associated businesses such as media, entertainment and hospitality.
“While sports betting will find other way to advertise – policymakers should be cautious not to destroy many businesses that contribute not only to the economy but to people’s sense of joy, unity, pride and identity.”
For more on a potential sponosrship ban, read Gambling Insider's article on why ending shirt sponsorships will not reduce problem gambling.