Despite reaping the pros and cons, in fact, the world’s betting sponsors still go into football. Several clubs, especially in Europe, are still cooperating with gambling companies. Clubs in England for example.
Perhaps only the big six like Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool don’t wear gambling sponsors on their jerseys. However, clubs such as Aston Villa, Burnley, West Ham, Leeds, and Brentford still wear jerseys sponsored by gambling companies.
Not only in England. Gambling companies also enter in other European leagues, such as the Spanish La Liga. Last season, several clubs in Spain put gambling sponsors on jerseys, such as Sevilla, Real Betis, to Cadiz.
Sponsor Judi Bola doesn’t just appear on jersey either. Sometimes when we will see gambling sponsors on football broadcasts and on E-Boards. So, the question is why can gambling sponsors get into football, even though it reaps the pros and cons?
Of course, the main reason is profitable. The gambling company, apart from being profitable, also brings in profits for certain clubs or even leagues. Gambling companies reap revenues of up to millions of pounds in just an instant.
Meanwhile, clubs and leagues need money. Clubs need money to operate, while leagues need it to keep it running. In research published by Global Data, in the 2020/21 season alone the European football industry earned revenue of 497.82 million dollars or around IDR 7.1 trillion from betting companies.
Still referring to the same data, the Premier League is the most profitable with a spending value from gambling companies at 143.84 million dollars or IDR 2 trillion. While the Spanish League is in second place with 70.49 million dollars or IDR 1 trillion, and the German League is behind it with 57.35 million dollars or IDR 823.9 billion.
Regarding this, sports analyst from Global Data, Liam Fox said that football is the favorite sport to bet on, it is only natural that the income from there is very large. He further said restrictions on betting sponsorship in European football would leave a significant hole in revenue.
Obviously, gambling companies are targeting a wider market. The football club becomes an entity that can reach this broad market. The betting companies, even though they advertise in English clubs, actually do not target their market in England, but in other countries.
In short, gambling companies use football clubs as a vehicle to attract gamblers from other countries. A BBC documentary shows how betting companies like Betway are exploiting Uganda’s youth obsession with football.
Some youths in Uganda are tempted to gamble with what they have and spend it all. Quoting The Guardian, similar concerns arose when the gambling company that once sponsored Everton, SportPesa sparked an online gambling craze in Kenya.
Strategies to Keep Gamblers Gambling
Admit it or not, gambling really makes everything feel good when you win. However, when you lose, of course, what happens is indescribable gloom. However, the betting company always has sense so that the gambler still carries out gambling activities. Because if not, the gambling company could go bankrupt.
Well, one of them is by sponsoring a football club. By becoming a sponsor of a football club, it will certainly be easier for gambling companies to take advantage of his sponsorship rights. The Guardian revealed that there is such a thing as a VIP scheme.
Gambling companies target people who gamble, especially those who have run out of cash to give them special offers. These people are often offered tickets to watch the game.
According to the report, at one point, gambling firm Ladbrokes was even willing to pay for a round-trip business class flight from Dubai to London worth more than £2,000 for clients who lost so much money.
Whether you want to deny it or not, what is certain is that the relationship between gambling companies and football is very close. Of course, this relationship will not be close if it is not mutually beneficial. Such are gambling companies and football clubs.
The club, in this case, will also benefit. Not only that, but the fact is that gambling companies support the club to continue to grow. However, the club needs facilities which of course are not perfunctory.
Gambling companies enter to invest with a certain amount of money, of course, the nominal value is not small. From there, the club can build facilities such as a better stadium and training ground. In other words, from the club’s point of view, the betting companies are helping to improve the quality of football.
Because some have banned the use of gambling sponsors, but gambling companies can still enter. Gambling companies often use subtle means to promote their brand.
For example, Wayne Rooney, who wore jersey number 32 when he first joined Derby County. Of course, everyone knows that 32Red is the gambling company that sponsors Derby County. Many think that Rooney, who wears number 32, is the result of an agreement from a sponsor.
However, both Derby County and Wayne Rooney both denied the involvement of sponsors in the number 32 agreement. There is another, more subtle way.
At the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, fans can access the internet with super high Wifi speed. But the internet at the stadium was unable to access the site of William Hill, which is reportedly a competitor of the betting company that sponsors Tottenham. It’s in the agreement between the club and the betting company.
What’s the Impact?
It is clear that gambling companies that enter into sponsoring football will have a bad impact. As well as being able to encourage young people to enter the realm of gambling, gambling sites can make it seem as if football is normalizing gambling.
Even though football is a sport that upholds fair play. Clubs are like celebrities who support a brand, and it sends a special message to fans that their club supports a gambling company brand. It is possible that the fans even went so far as to link the gambling companies with the club’s achievements.
Can It Be Banned?
Finally, can gambling companies be banned from entering football? Specifically, the only brand the Football Association prohibits from advertising on kits is tobacco products. Any sponsor is actually okay to appear.
The condition is that the advertisement must not display messages that are unpleasant, rude, indecent, discriminatory, ethical, or morally offensive, and display political messages. Even so, reportedly gambling companies are slowly starting to be banned.
The Mirror report says the Premier League has started to ban gambling companies from sponsoring football shirts. Not only that, the Premier League is also considering displaying gambling company advertisements on the side of the field and television advertisements. Well, the matter of you still finding it, is another matter.