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The English Football League (EFL) has backed its approach to betting advertising and its relationship with the UK gambling industry amid heightened political scrutiny.

Publishing a statement on Sunday following a Sunday Times report suggesting that gambling sponsorship is going to be banned, the EFL underlined its duties in maintaining that betting advertising and sponsorships across its leagues and competitions had been undertaken in a responsible fashion.

“The association between football and the gambling sector is long-standing, with a collaborative, evidence-based approach to preventing gambling harms of much greater benefit than that of a blanket ban of any kind,” EFL detailed in its statement.

The EFL would point to its transformative campaigns with principal sponsor Sky Bet, in which players and clubs across its three divisions promoted safer gambling awareness and public education of compulsive betting behaviours – with 70% of betting’s matchday inventory dedicated to responsible messaging.

Of vital importance, the betting sector contributes a reported £40 million per season to EFL clubs, marked as critical funding for “clubs living on a financial knife-edge given the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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