In what began like some advertising campaign with only a commercial purpose, it gradually seems to be coming to be one with a dominant change effect in the life of the game, the players and even the fans of the lovely game of football.
The dominance and ever-growing presence of gambling firms in UK football have attracted an era of young men into seriously linking their love for the sport to betting. As a result, this has led to pronounced and serious effects for a lot of people who are part of this lovely game of football in the UK.
The surge of betting in areas like marketing and sponsorship comes on the back of the last Labour government’s deregulation of betting in 2005. This surge is further boosted by the ease of betting, as you can effortlessly place your bets right from the corner of your room via your smartphones.
For most football fans, it is now impossible to watch a football game without placing non GamStop bets at the UK-based sportsbooks before the game begins. Typically they would have up to 25 accounts with different online betting operators. More so, football discussions between football fans have changed from what it used to be. Now, all they discuss is about their bets, instead of the game.
According to a recent survey on football fans majorly in the UK, it was revealed that these betting operators marketing strategies have been exceptionally productive. From the different offers of “free” bets and other strategies they have employed, it is only natural that the effect is this glaring.
More so, most participants in the survey confessed that their losses did not feel like they lost real cash as they place their bets without stress on a mobile phone without the usual rigor of having to go to a bookmaker's shop first.
What exactly are the effects of betting on UK football?
How has it impacted the present turn of events in the world of football in the UK?
What are the positive and the negative sides to these effects?
Online gambling firms have fixed their sight on UK football in a commercial way. Hence, the last decade has been dominated by a high rate of sponsorship and advertising, without leaving out football-related media as well. This influx comes at a period when incomes from other platforms are declining. The 2019/2020 season alone witnessed 9 out of the 20 Premier League football clubs having sponsorship deals with a betting company as their main sponsor. In the Championship division, as many as 17 out of the 24 football clubs there hold sponsorship deals with these different gambling companies.
Real examples include SkyBet being the sponsor of the Football League and its other three divisions. Remarkably, Leeds and Aston Villa are two of the five Championship football teams with sponsorship deals with only one online casino platform, 32 Red. Others are Derby, Middlesbrough, and Preston.
A good number of gambling firms operating in the UK, offshore, and in foreign countries, especially Asia, similarly pay for billboard promotions around the football pitches during games. This sort of promotional strategy is popular during game broadcasts.
As we have mentioned earlier, the penetration of these gambling companies, marketing-wise, as well as promotionally speaks volumes of how well these operators have focused on the UK football environment.
In the 2019/2020 season, there were 9 football teams from the entire 20 Premier League football teams with partnership deals with gambling companies, that will feature these gambling firms as their shirt sponsors for the season. This same kind of deal involved a remarkable number of 17 teams from the 24 football teams in the nation’s Championship division.
These shirt sponsorship has transcended into a paradigm shift as most football teams now have gambling adverts on their jerseys in the Premier League and the other subdivisions. What this means is that from now on, you will keep having the names of these betting companies in your faces whenever you see any Premier League or Championship game.
According to a research carried out by Dr. Darragh McGee, a lecturer from the University of Bath, funded by the British Academy, he discovered that the dominating spirit of the online betting culture in UK football has had awful and destructive effects on most of the persons he interviewed. According to McGee, the culture of football betting in the United Kingdom is “far from being the knowledge-based, risk-free activity it is marketed as, the profound appeal of online sports gambling has had dire consequences for many young men”
Additionally, a sum of £14.4bn was sacrificed by individuals engaged in football betting in the United Kingdom from April 2017 to March 2018. Following the statistical figures released by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission for responsible gambling policy, this was a rise from the £13.8bn value, last year. From that entire amount, £5.3bn of the loss came through online betting which is likewise a 12.8% rise from the figure, the previous year.