Aside from the Saturday afternoon accumulator, gambling and football appear to be worlds apart. Yet, when sponsorship can play an important factor in success, they suddenly become a lot closer friends. In fact, over 50% of Premier League clubs in the 2019-2020 season have shirt sponsorships with gambling companies.
Clubs are looking to online casinos like Royal Vegas to strike deals and increase their transfer kitties for the season. The sponsorship afforded by the top casinos can give teams substantially more funds to buy better players, which attract more paying fans, TV rights and the chance for silverware. However, such action isn’t happening without scrutiny or appeal.
Gambling Regulations in the UK: The Conversation
In the UK, The Gambling Commission is responsible for ensuring gambling companies operate with a license, fairy and that they protect UK citizens from the chances of problem gambling occurring. One way they do this is by protecting younger viewers from the appeal of gambling.
Current legislation targets the way gambling companies advertise their services and prevents them from advertising to appeal to children, using children within campaigns and the times of advertising. Recent changes stopped gambling adverts from appearing at half-time during matches because it is likely that children will be frequently exposed to these adverts.
Yet, football teams play matches with gambling companies branded on their shirt, and this is what has been scrutinised by some fans. They argue that children are also attending these games and watching on TV, so are somewhat exposed to gambling advertising. On the other hand, some people argue that they are not been subject to glossy motion advertisements, so it is not entirely the same.
Either way, there is a conversation to be had.
Inventive Gambling Advertising in Football
The debate spirals further than just logos appearing on the players’ shirts. More inventive advertising strategies have come to light of late with Derby County’s signing of Wayne Rooney. The England star will wear number 32 for the club when he does take to the field for the first-time next year, but 32 is not an arbitrary number.
The number is representative of the club’s shirt sponsor 32Red, a popular gambling business. Using 32 as Rooney’s number shows a unique and innovative way to promote a company without using their logo or name. After all, the media is discussing the move and internet scrollers are reading about it.
The Positives of Casino Gambling in Football
A lot of the discussion around casino sponsorship in football has caused disagreement and debate, but it should also be noted that it can be really good for the sport and the UK. Using the sponsorship of these successful companies awards clubs a significant wealth that allows them to buy better players and supply a better product to the public. Ultimately increasing the entertainment value to the public and promoting the Premier League.