In the UK there has been a lot of speculation that the government is seeking to end gambling advertising on sports, including football shirt sponsorship.

The reasoning is that gambling sponsorship ‘normalises’ the activity and encourages people to gamble. By ending gambling’s involvement in sport sponsorship it is argued that this relationship will be broken.

Italy has been down this route.

In Italy gambling advertising was prohibited in July 2018. All existing advertising deals had to end by July 2019.

Almost three years after the ban was introduced, e-gaming revenues have continued to grow in Italy.

The only real impact has been to cut the income for sports teams and associations. That lost revenue could not have come at a worse time, given the cancellation on many sports and crowd attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If the UK government is keen to adopt evidence as the basis of its approach to gambling regulation and advertising, then the case study from Italy is a good starting point.