The relationship between football and betting is a complex one. Anywhere there is a sport, you will find gambling companies there too.
In the United Kingdom, they are more prevalent than in other places. There are many gaming platforms to choose from: Besides betting sites, online casinos provide the service to football fans.
Gambling Sponsorships to UK Football Clubs
More betting companies are sponsoring English clubs than at any time in history. Some people think that gambling and English football are inseparable: It is widely appreciated as people watch and bet on matches globally.
A Historical View
Stoke City was the first English club to get sponsorship from a betting firm in 1902. The move to partner with Betting and Racing Exchange was controversial as gambling was illegal in most regions across the globe.
As more countries set up legislation allowing gambling in their jurisdiction, there was an increase in sports sponsorships from betting firms. In the 1970s and 80s, top-tier English football clubs had gambling companies as their sponsors. It included;
- Manchester City,
- Ipswich Town,
- Aston Villa.
English Premier League establishment in 1990 increased its viewership worldwide, attracting more sponsorship from betting companies. Top teams like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea secured deals with these businesses.
Gambling Sponsorship in the Modern Premier League Era
The English league is experiencing an unprecedented rise in gambling sponsorships. Big clubs like Liverpool, Arsenal, and Chelsea have such firms as their main sponsors. Although it is the case, there is a plan by the government to enact stringent regulations on the industry and restrict betting advertisements from 2023. The linkage between English football and gambling companies is tight. Still, we are determining what the future holds since authorities seek to take action.
The rise of sports betting in the country is due to technological advancement. Players can access the platforms at their convenience from digital devices. Virtual sites like online gambling laboratories which have more features than traditional land-based gaming places. Apart from many brands in the English gambling industry, the tools and payment methods are more versatile, attracting more people to play with online sites.
The development in the sector is a significant contributor to gambling companies sponsoring English clubs. Nowadays, many people opt for virtual platforms for their betting and other gambling activities such as slots or poker. The trend will continue. It is evident with the exponential growth of service providers in the digital platform.
Since the companies are attracting users, they grow in their influence and can leverage it in their business partnerships. The English premier league is aware of gambling sponsorship impact in sports, especially football: It makes it difficult to lock them out of the sector.
Sponsorship Deals in Present Day
Currently, many English clubs benefit from gambling sponsorships and displaying company logos on their jerseys. However, the big teams may not have them on their jerseys, and they get a lot of money from betting firms.
Currently, teams like Manchester City, Manchester United, Arsenal, and Tottenham have some form of partnership with such entities. Most of them will not disclose the amount they get. However, you can get a rough idea by researching the information on the internet. The deals are worth above 100 million Euros annually.
It indicates that nine English premier league and six championship teams have partnerships with gambling companies. With a 5 billion annual turnover in the sector, the companies will inevitably desist from sponsoring football teams.
How Do Sponsored Clubs Benefit?
Finances are not the only benefits clubs get. Partnering with gambling sites will increase their fan base as teams can access their clientele for marketing merchandise and selling match tickets.
At the same time, the public perception of gambling changes making gambling appear legitimate. Since the UK has most of the biggest betting firms worldwide, English clubs have options when seeking sponsorship deals from businesses.
Are There Risks?
Despite gambling sponsorships benefiting football clubs, there are risks to the deals. A significant implication is when the betting company has a scandal, as it will negatively affect the reputation of the teams they sponsor.
Some fans may be against gambling, and their club’s association with the companies can make them stop supporting them. Still, financial risk is there if the sponsor pulls out of the deal before its expiry date.
What Does the Future Look Like?
The future of gambling sponsorship is uncertain. With the UK government restricting betting ads, companies will likely pull out of deals with EPL clubs. Smaller teams will suffer the most if it happens, as the big ones can quickly find another partner. However, the amount of money the gambling industry pumps into football contributes to their success and will continue into the foreseeable future. We will have to wait and see what the future holds for all stakeholders.
Playing at online casinos is fun and a quality time spent. But everything needs to be in moderation. If you feel that you are no longer in control of your gambling activities, you must have easy access to various sources of help. Play responsibly.