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Millions invested in sports sponsorship every year

The European Sponsorship Association, a trade body for companies supporting a variety of sports clubs and teams, has released a policy statement as a precursor to the publication of the European Commission's Green Paper on internet gambling and the public consultation that will follow.

The European Sponsorship Association, a trade body for companies supporting a variety of sports clubs and teams, has released a policy statement as a precursor to the publication of the European Commission's Green Paper on internet gambling and the public consultation that will follow.

Describing the sector as dynamic and fast-growing, the statement notes that the value of gambling sponsorship deals reported since 2007 runs into the hundreds of millions of Euros and the upward trend is continuing.

While this growth is welcomed by the sponsorship industry, the legal issues relating to gambling sponsorship vary considerably from country to country, prompting the Association to issue a policy statement addressing the restrictions and continuing developments.

Helen Day, ESA's head of European policy, says she believes that with the imminent release of the EC Green Paper on internet gambling, it is appropriate that the Association outlines its views on internet gambling sponsorships.

"We have had discussions with the European Commission about their Green Paper and are keen to ensure that sponsorship is fully understood and correctly presented within it, so ESA will certainly be responding to the consultation", said Day, who notes that the ESA definition of gambling covers betting, gaming and participation in lotteries.

Key points raised in the policy include:

  • Legality - currently there is no harmonised legislation which governs the provision and promotion of gambling services across all 27 European Union Member States. While ESA advocates that all gambling sponsorships should respect and comply with local laws, the Association supports steps being taken at a European level to ensure legal restrictions are compatible with European law and that cross-border issues are addressed.

  • Self-regulation - ESA also believes in the value of self-regulation and that sports governing bodies and other sports organisations are best placed to decide if a properly regulated gambling operator is an appropriate sponsor for them.

  • Integrity - The Association welcomes initiatives that seek to promote cooperation and information sharing between the sports and gambling industries to promote and maintain integrity.

  • Corporate Responsibility - As part of its corporate responsibility commitment, ESA seeks to ensure that sponsorship does not adversely affect or influence children or vulnerable audiences. It believes that successful and responsible sponsorships will be those which target suitable events or properties with an audience appropriate to the sponsor's brand and where activation is clearly directed at an adult audience aware of both the risks and rewards of gambling.

Sponsorships by gambling operators should be lawful and responsible, ESA declares. It warns that restrictions on these sponsorships, which provide a key source of finance, could have a substantial adverse impact on sports, culture and the gambling industry itself.

Readers can view the policy in full at http://www.sponsorship.org/content/policy_papers/ESA_Gambling_Sponsorshi...

Source: InfoPowa News

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