The overhaul of the gambling sector in the UK is yet to lift off. While recently, the government released the White Paper of the review of the Gambling Act, meaningful changes are still ahead. Yet, amid talks for a possible shirt sponsorship ban, many soccer teams in the country vowed support for such a measure, ahead of regulatory restrictions and changes to the vertical.
But while a front-of-shirt gambling sponsorship ban is expected a few years into the future, this still leaves time for soccer teams to complete their existing deals or even sign new short-term agreements with gambling companies.
Now, Chelsea, the famous soccer team, is reportedly in final talks with Stake, the popular online casino platform for a new one-year sponsorship deal, The Telegraph reveals. If the deal is finalized, it would designate Stake as Chelsea’s new front-of-shirt gambling sponsor.
The announcement comes at a time when the partnership between the soccer club’s current front-of-shirt sponsor, Three, is scheduled to expire this summer. Gambling sponsorship deals are not disclosed to the public, but it was estimated that Three and Chelsea’s collaboration was worth some £40 million ($51.2 million). It is likely that the new collaboration with Stake may have a similar price tag.
Previously, Stake inked a sponsorship deal with Everton, one of Chelsea’s Premier League rivals. That deal was announced last year and it was estimated at approximately £10 million ($12.8 million) annually, a figure that is not uncommon for the Premier League.
If Chelsea finalizes the collaboration with Stake, the gambling company would position its logo on the front of the shirt of the players. It is expected the logo to be present on all fan shirts that are adult size, while kids’ shirts likely won’t display a sponsor.
Even if Chelsea finalizes its sponsorship agreement with Stake, that won’t violate the upcoming gambling sponsorship ban. This is because the agreement will likely replace Three for the next season, running for a year. Per the changes to the regulations, clubs and gambling operators are allowed to complete their existing or new agreements through the end of the 2025/26 season.
Chelsea is one of the sponsors of the voluntary front-of-shirt sponsorship ban. With that in mind, the club is yet to officially confirm if the talks with Stake have secured final approval.