The constant involvement of betting companies in football has become a significant sight. This support from the gambling industry is causing an explosion in marketing and sponsorship schemes for football. This association has increased sports betting massively. A punter has multiple betting accounts with the online gambling sportsbooks via which they place multiple bets on football. Also, there are lots of CasinoGap sites for GamStop customers that allow self-excluded users to bet on sports.
The sport itself has become a betting hub for UK gamblers. The marketing schemes of these gambling companies are top-notch which is a reason behind the number of increasing gambling addicts in the country. These bets mostly include in-play bets on the corner numbers, yellow cards, and throw-ins.
Negatives Of Gambling In Association With Football
There has been a catastrophic impact on the intensity of online football gambling culture. The younger generation is facing the bitter dire consequences of what is marketed as a risk-free and knowledge-based activity. Gambling addiction is causing severe bank debts, loans, family breakdown, personal struggles, mental health issues, mortgages, and fraudulence leading to suicidal tendencies at times. These people mostly start gambling thinking it to be an easy source of income, social capital.
How Do These Sponsorships Work?
Football has been targeted by online betting companies in an industrialized manner. These sponsorships include advertising, media coverage, shirt sponsors, and other visual aids. Football accepts these sponsorships due to their lucrative offers and the diminishing revenues from other advertisers.
The major betting companies in the UK also offer to sponsor billboards on the game pitches for broadcasting during matches. Combined with hoardings, gambling-related logos are prominent throughout football matches in different forms.
Why Does Football Entertain Gambling Industry Sponsorships?
Football is a flourishing industry which is an unsustainable business aspect for clubs to survive. It becomes difficult for these football clubs to fund the mounting expenses on their own and hence they continue taking sponsorships from the gambling industry. The big clubs have larger exposure and have innumerable sponsoring offers, unlike the smaller clubs which thrive on gambling money.
Football and Gambling as individual factors are two great industries on their own. However, when combined, there are certain discrepancies and malpractices on both ends. This is the major “blind spot” for these industries if they are considered as a combined factor.
A Former Gambling Addict’s Mission To End Sponsorship “Blind Spot”
Steve Ramsey who is 54, was a bettor who had severe gambling tendencies and placed around five hundred bets on football in-play each day. He had started betting on matches in Asia, Europe, the USA, Brazil, New Zealand. He stole over £192,000 from his employers over a four-year span at the Warwickshire County Council to fund for bets. He admitted his fraudulence at a police station in 2007 leading to 27 months of prison time.
After 10 months of his punishment, he did not have any bets for over three years. He took part in the Big Step campaign, which was a five-day trek of 130 miles to visit eight football clubs through the Midlands that had 15 gambling industry sponsorships. The organizer of the campaign, James Grimes, had stated that the aim of the walk was to point out the fact that football clubs have had a huge impact on normalizing betting by featuring advertisements on billboards, jerseys.
It was important for football fans to understand the harms of gambling addiction. The campaign also highlighted how severe gambling addicts are ended up committing suicide devastating families, friends. The Big Step aims at eliminating gambling sponsorships from Football once and for all due to all the negativism attached to it. Like Ramsey, plenty more former addicts were a part of this campaign.
Football and Gambling are two separate industries that work brilliantly on their own. However, when combined, there are both pros and cons associated with it. As The Football Association says, gambling sponsorships can be harmful to gambling addicts and can also drive people towards gambling in a negative way due to its promotions displayed on football matches via various means. However, smaller football clubs thrive on sponsorships even if they came from this source as they do not run on large capital funds.
Football is one of the most popular sports in the World and thus, it inspires people in various ways. The problem of the tie-ups between these two industries shall come to a conclusion that would benefit both the industries without having a negative impact on the common crowd.