Sports as a field have embraced the profit-making sponsorships of gambling and betting sites. The names of the bookies are displayed everywhere, from merchandise to venues of sporting events. A report showed that about 60% of sports club merchandise display names of the bookies, and 59% of the stadium promotes popular sites to bet on football matches.
Moreover, the report found that 56% of competition organisers are associated with sportsbooks. Another report revealed that 60% of the top football clubs endorse the betting advertisements on their player’s shirts. The current scenario is negatively influencing a significant part of the population. Especially the population below eighteen is given too much exposure to the betting ads that could normalize betting and gambling, which will be dangerous.
Profit Made By The Football Clubs From The Betting Ads
Football clubs made profits from various forms of betting advertisements. The betting companies collaborate with the clubs through multiple programs like sponsorship, bespoke deals, matchday programs, Vip Schemes, etc. A study revealed that in the football highlights program of BBC sportsbook, the screen showed logos and visuals for about 75% of the total time of the show. In 2017, English Football League (EFL) signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) for a sponsorship deal with SkyBet, which will last for 2024. The MOU had a clause for promoting responsible gambling and came up with a tagline of “When the fun stops, stop.”
One of the famous bespoke deals was of Derby County and Wayne Rooney with 32 Red casinos. For the deal, the former England captain joined the club wearing a jersey with 32 Red casino logos. A report showed that gambling ads were displayed on-screen during champions league matches an average of 2.3 times, almost double the permitted alcohol advertisements’ screen time. Football clubs need financial funding to operate. Thus deals from the bookies serve the purpose significantly when the finance from the alcohol, cigarette, and food companies are declining.
How the Betting Ads Affect The Non-Gambler Fans
Overexposure to betting adverts could significantly impact especially the younger population. A study in 2018 showed that about 450,000 children from ages 11 to 16 regularly bet in the UK. Few children use their parents’ accounts and information to bet. At the same time, most children use bookies, which do not need identity verification. Another study conducted in 2011 showed that 12% of the subject children below 15 betted on their favourite teams—advertisements on betting sites act as a catalyst to worsen the case.
A report by the gambling commission showed that addictive gambling and betting activities had increased four times in the last few years. Games like football and soccer are the most loved and followed sports worldwide. Children and young adults are more into sports and see the players as their heroes. So when they see players wearing jerseys on betting sites and in their advertisements, they get intrigued about betting. In today’s date, betting on winning teams or man of the match while watching a game has been normalized.
How the Betting Ads affect The Addictive Gambler Fans
It was found that during the 2018 world cup, there was an outburst of betting ads in the live telecast or highlights of the match shown on the TV. A study reported that the total duration throughout the world cup was 90 minutes, far more than alcohol and cigarette advertisements. Betting could provoke the addictive gamblers to bet even more during a season when the winning amount could be higher than usual. To avoid such stimulation, many problem gamblers are on self-exclusion periods and use gambling and betting site-blocking tools such as GamStop, Net Nanny, GamWare, GamBan, Betblocker, etc.
But they could still use VPN to bypass some blocks. They can even register to bookies that are not written in the software they are using. A report in 2014 suggested that betting ads mainly attracted people with addiction problems to micro bets, which are short-term bets related to one moment of the game and not on the score. For example, they bet on the first player to score a goal or get a red flag, etc.
Although there is no link between betting ads and problem gambling, over-exposure is a leading reason for addiction relapse.
A vast population of the UK and the world indulge themselves in football matches that they watch on TV. Mainly teens and young adults are attracted to such ads to show their support for the players and clubs and make a few quick bucks. Betting ads have increased betting amongst children below 16, a few of them even better due to peer pressure. The amount of betting ads we see today is concerning as it exposes young children to betting and provokes addictive gamblers to return to the same path.