Prime Minister Boris Johnson has reportedly endorsed a new law change in the UK which could have wide-reaching implications, particularly for Rangers, if the motion is passed and applies to all home nations.
The law change concerns betting companies and sponsorship of club shirts, whereby the new legislation would see such advertising made illegal.
It’s said to be the biggest shakeup to commercial activity in the UK since the banning of public cigarette ads back in 2005, and its implications of course concern Rangers and our sponsors 32Red and Unibet.
First off the motion has to actually pass, albeit there’s a strong chance it will given Britain’s serious affliction with gambling addiction. On a pure public health level, it seems inevitable that it will go through.
But secondly, it will pass in parliament and it may well be left to devolved UK governments to decide individually whether or not to implement.
But there’s a strong chance either way that these ads will be outlawed – of course, Rangers’ current deal with 32Red (and Unibet – same owner) is due to end this summer with no word on an extension, and this new legislation is planned to take effect come the autumn.
Of course, with Covid, betting firms, like most other industries, have been hit hard, and this new law is especially unwelcome to them – but the reality is they prey on the vulnerable so we can’t really say we’re completely against it.
But equally we don’t want our club in any difficulties – and in truth a brand as big as Rangers and Steven Gerrard really shouldn’t struggle to find a new sponsor away from betting.
We’ll see what comes to pass over the coming months.