Is Cricket Cracking Down on Gaming Sponsors Like Football?
Is Cricket Cracking Down on Gaming Sponsors Like Football?

Betting and sports seem to be the perfect partners; those who like to watch sport are typically the same people who enjoy a flutter now and again. Therefore, it made a lot of sense for gaming firms to target sports for their marketing campaigns, including various types of sponsorship deals.

Although this may have been a meeting of minds, not everyone saw things the same way. With concerns over safe gambling, the government is considering introducing strict new criteria that will limit gambling involvement in sponsorship deals.

Gambling Sponsorship Reducing

According to research, betting firms pay around £263 million annually in sponsorship deals, but this is a figure which has been drastically reduced in recent years. Concerns over the impact of gambling advertising have seen many sports seek to eliminate or minimise a visible presence from betting companies.

According to one report, in the last two years, the number of betting firms with sponsorship deals in UK sport has halved. Gambling sponsorship has tumbled from 15.3% to just 8.1%, with construction and engineering, financial services and automotive now all taking a larger share.

Many sports have taken an active role in deliberately trying to reduce betting sponsorship. Some have suggested this voluntary reduction has been an attempt to prevent tough new restrictions. If so, the plan hasn’t worked as this winter a white paper is due to be published, which will outline the recommended measures to lower the presence of gambling firms in sport.

This is widely expected to mean a direct ban on betting firms on the fronts of any sports shirts. Advertising gambling on hoarding is expected to be left unchanged, at least for now.

Cricket hasn’t traditionally had the most gambling sponsorship compared to sports such as football, but some leagues are already cutting it back. No gambling advertisements will be shown in BBL games in Australia after Cricket Australia turned down a big-money deal. In addition, Cricket NSW has also agreed on a gambling firm embargo for at least two years.

Positive Effects

Although some MPs have expressed concerns about the effects of seeing and hearing from gambling companies, there is a lot of good work that goes on behind the scenes.

Entain is the parent company of the world renowned brand PartyCasino and has a foundation set up to support good causes. This includes its Pitching In initiative, a multi-million pound investment to support and promote grassroots sports.

Many sports are facing challenging economic times with a loss of funding from other areas, and sponsorship deals such as the one from Entain can be vital for their survival.

But Entain doesn’t just invest at the grassroots level; it also signed a partnership deal with McLaren this year. Entain believes that McLaren can learn more about innovative technology to create safer gambling for all players.

If legislation is to remove participation from all sports, including cricket, the financial effect on some sports could be catastrop