Gambling and Sports go hand in hand. In the early years when online gambling started getting popular, gamblers will wager on sports by placing a bet on a team, hoping that the team will come out victorious at the end of the game. Later on, the bets started getting more specific about the match’s outcome; people will now bet that their team will score some actual number of goals by the end of the game.
The odds of the more specific games were even much lesser than the generalized bets. And it began to look like the more specific the players were with their bets, the more they enjoy the game and the more intense it gets, especially when they lose the bets.
This rapid behaviour was prevalent among men as they seem to enjoy sporting activities the most. However, some women are also caught up in their tracks. And as a result of this, online gambling sites have gotten more attention from the gamblers and the games they are betting on, thus increasing their market share online.
The menace of the activity, however, has brought some concerns to the world’s economy. Games that are supposed to be enjoyed are now being used to enrich the pockets of gambling companies. Gradually, the actual purpose for the games in themselves is gently eroded.
Sponsors and Sports
Sponsors are a group of people, a team or an organization that provides financial support to an outside body in exchange for other qualitative advantages. It is, therefore, no surprise to see gambling sponsors showing interest in the most popular games in the world, Sports.
And as the frenzy of online gambling sites and online casinos continue to rise, people are eager to explore the various categories of gambling options to bet on. Different games that people love to watch are on gambling sites. These days, it is not difficult to find online casino in India, horse betting, football, basketball, cricket and rugby games on gambling sites. The gambling companies operating these sites do all in their power to keep the lovers of the games attracted to their sites.
From the stance of the gambling sponsors, it is an easier way to advertise to a large number of people and get a significant market share. They can also get the loyalty of the fans of the team they sponsor, so the fans are more inclined to place a bet with them because they sponsor their favourite team. During matches, sports betting advertisement is seen on the billboards and pitch-side perimeter during the football games.
Nowadays, stadiums are being named after well-known gambling sponsors, such as Bet365 Stadium, home of Stoke City. Players also wear their official jerseys with gambling sponsors logos on their sleeves or the front of their shirts, promoting the betting brand. Gambling sponsors have also started providing arrangements for the training kits for practice.
To attract their customers and make massive profits, the gambling sponsors started showing interest in the sports industry. Interestingly, 17 out of the 24 Championship clubs have a gambling sponsor, while half of the 20 premier league clubs have at least one gambling sponsor’s logo on their official shirts. Some of their intolerable acts perceived by the public are;
- No regard for the original intentions of the game
- A considerable increase in the number of “problem gamblers.”
- Excessive advertisements for gambling during the games
- People are starting to believe that sporting activities and gambling are linked
- Advertisements in places that younger kids and vulnerable adults are exposed to like the radio
Because of these outcomes, a change was demanded from society for professional sports to be more socially responsible to their fans and communities. The UK government responded and is likely to ban gambling sponsors on football shirts due to its review of the Gambling Act 2005.
As a result of the outcry, the UK government responded with some regulations. In turn, the gambling’s shares of sponsorships in the 2019 match took a downturn from 15.3% to 8.1%. Due to this fall, the Construction and Engineering industry took the top spot with 11.2%, followed by Automotive with 9.4% and Financial Services at 8.5%.
As many have pointed out, the government’s decision can negatively impact the sports industry, as the industry has come to depend on gambling money. Some schools of thought also believe that the sports industry can wean itself off gambling revenue as some notable football clubs do not have any gambling sponsors, and they are doing fine. However, careful measures are being taken to ensure social responsibility from all parties.
As the parties entrusted with the regulations of these industries carry out their duties in the best interest of society, gambling sponsors are also looking for means to be more socially responsible.
Generally, we believe that the right compromise will be decided on. People can enjoy gambling as a fun activity and enjoy betting on football without any adverse effects to the young and vulnerable in our societies.