Sports & Betting

At Bird & Bird, we operate at the intersection of the sports and betting industries, at the heart of what is a commercially valuable and sometimes controversial relationship. We advise sports organisations and event organisers across a multitude of sports on the creation and exploitation of database rights in sports data, and the production and exploitation of live streaming services for the international betting market. We regularly advise on sponsorship deals between sports rights holders and betting operators, including addressing responsible gambling messaging and the sharing of data for sports integrity purposes. We have been at the heart of the debate on the so-called "right to bet" for well over a decade. As a firm with a central focus on technology, we also offer advice on how our clients can prepare themselves for an ever-evolving, data-driven world.

We assist our clients in achieving the following key aims and objectives, among others:

  • helping to maximise the value of data and media rights by: (1) structuring rights vehicles designed to ensure the creation of protectable intellectual property rights; (2) drafting the terms to which all attendees at the sports events are subject, to minimise unofficial data production; and (3) enforcing rights against infringers;
  • maintaining compliance in the advertising of sponsors’ gambling services across multiple international jurisdictions, given the inconsistent regulatory treatment (and risk profile of advertising gambling) across the world;
  • drafting and negotiating high value commercial contracts between sports rights-holders and gambling businesses;
  • assisting with the achievement of integrity objectives (including the sharing of betting data) through the commercial contracting process, in addition to much broader sports integrity support; and
  • advising on the risks and opportunities of the review of the Gambling Act in Great Britain, including proposals to restrict the commercial relationship between gambling and sport (in particular in relation to sponsorship and live streaming), as well as the resurfacing of arguments for and against a “right to bet”.

Case study

Sky Bet: We advised Sky Bet, one of the leading sports betting brands in the UK, on the five-year renewal of its headline naming rights sponsorship agreement with the English Football League, under which Sky Bet was retained as the title sponsor of the Sky Bet Championship, Sky Bet League One, and Sky Bet League Two.  We advised Sky Bet on key aspects of the deal, including drafting the sponsorship agreement and the related integrity and responsible gambling MOU. As well as combining our extensive commercial and regulatory sports and gambling experience, this also involved specialist advice across other areas, including data protection. As part of Sky Bet's leading role amongst the industry on responsible gambling matters, the deal included the display of responsible gambling messaging on every shirt sleeve in the Football League, and a responsible gambling awareness programme for EFL clubs.

Key Contacts

Andy Danson, Robert Turner


Bird & Bird “possesses expertise in the field of gaming and betting practice, as well as the ability to understand the commercial needs of the client, and to offer creative solutions to issues at hand.”

legal 500, 2021