Newcastle in early stages of talks with potential investors

The watchdog said the changes would make it quicker and easier to take action over breaches such as misleading promotions and bonus offers, as well as unreasonable restrictions on withdrawals of winnings. It said the animated figures, bright colours and motifs from children’s fiction meant the promotions for Rainbow Riches – which included a leprechaun – Fishin’ Frenzy and Lucky Wizard ‘were likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s’. The Gambling Commission – the industry regulator – will also be given new powers and additional funding, while a new ombudsman will strengthen customers’ rights if gambling companies fail to be socially responsible.

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We understand a lot of work still needs to be done.’ ‘We understand everyone’s views and there are times that those of certain countries aren’t going to sit easy with people,’ said United With Pride secretary Mark Betham. ‘We have concerns about (that) but what we want to do is keep working with the club to make sure that they are doing what they need to do to help increase visibility. The study by Glasgow University warns that such adverts are luring vulnerable children and adults into gambling.

But since Labour relaxed betting legislation there have been 75 deals in which gambling firms have plastered their logos on the chests of football stars. The 21-year-old midfielder arrived at St James’ Park on loan in July with the possibility of a full transfer included in the deal, and has done so well on Tyneside that the club has handed him a five-year contract. The Government says online revenues could fall by more than £700million as a result of the new rules.

Regulations for bricks-and-mortar casinos will be relaxed to level the playing field with online rivals. For example, high street casinos will be allowed to install up to 80 gaming machines – up from the current 20. ‘More needs to be done to protect children from the risks of gambling, and sports clubs need to consider their responsibility.’ The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling code requires that ‘gambling operators do not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for use by children.

A clear example of this would be the use of logos on sports’ shirts.’ Managing director Lee Charnley and his commercial team were dispatched to the Far East at the end of last season and returned with a new sponsor in the shape of Chinese firm Fun88, sparking suggestions of further investment from that region.