Gambling sponsorship in European football is rife. In fact, there are more betting companies on the front of team shirts in the top two leagues of English football than not. These companies are well-matched sponsors for football teams because they bring in lots of revenue for the clubs, which goes towards funding the professional game and trickles down into community initiatives. The relationship also helps the gambling sponsors by targeting a demographic that is known to enjoy casino games, and of course, sports betting.
But this flourishing relationship may be about to be broken up. There are some calls for this type of sponsorship to be banned from the beautiful game. So, is there a cause for concern?
Gambling Companies Needn’t Worry
According to the marketing manager at PartyCasino, their mobile gambling site, which is one of the most popular in the UK, has seen record months and shows no sign of falling. It suggests that betting companies are not expected to lose too much sleep if they are kicked out of the picture in elite-level football.
Gambling from a mobile device has increased exponentially since the events of 2020 and bricks, and mortar casino had to shut their doors. These casinos have captured a new market that may not have started using online bookmakers and casinos otherwise. And this is why experts believe online casinos are set to dominate the market.
There is no question that football sponsorship deals are good business for casinos and sports bookmakers, but there are not the be-all and end-all of their operations.
Why Do Some Want Gambling Sponsorship Banned?
Gambling companies have to jump through a lot of hoops when advertising their products and services in the UK. The best online casinos and bookmakers recognise the importance of stringent regulations to keep people safe and protected – and are thus more than willing to cooperate.
Yet, there are some calls from activist groups and government officials to have this form of sponsorship removed from English football. In July 2020, a government committee recommended the ban, following on from reports in Spain that could see the end of gambling companies appearing on La Liga team shorts.
The main concern is that football is enjoyed by vulnerable peoples and young people not yet of legal age to gamble. These groups are then exposed to gambling companies and potentially enticed to play. Rules are already in place by The UK Gambling Commission to prevent advertisements to young people. So, does sponsorship fall within this bracket?
When Would a Ban Come into Force?
The committee that advised on the ban in July 2020 believes if the ban was to be implemented, it would only do so until 2023. And the ban is not said to affect Premier League clubs until even later. It will give gambling companies plenty of time to look for other sponsorship opportunities, possibly in other mainstream sports.