Football and the Gambling Industry

football and the gambling industry

Is Football’s love affair with the Gambling Industry coming to an end?

Gambling Industry’s Influence on Football

The gambling industry has had a firm grip on football for decades now. The relationship has become so intertwined due to sponsorship deals, advertising campaigns, matchday programs, VIP schemes, and global appeal.

Can one survive without the other?Football and the Gambling Industry

We’re all familiar with football being a ‘big money business’ nowadays. Betting firms such as Bet365, Skybet, or Ladbrokes are injecting millions into club and player sponsorship and advertising. Is it surprising that clubs are more dependant on the industry, and the rewards the industry has to offer?

The Gambling Industry is worth around £14.3 billion and continues to grow at a rapid pace. What is cause for concern is how quickly online gambling has taken hold and how this is drawing the younger enthusiasts in at an extremely rapid pace.


Online gambling and its Prevalence

Half of all online gamblers have done so on their smartphone, there is a clear age skew, with three-quarters of 18–34-year-old online gamblers using their smartphones to gamble compared to only 14% of those aged 65 and over. 

In comparison to other methods of gambling, online gambling is still very much in its infancy stage but saying that, it’s the only method of gambling that has continued to increase and it comprises 39.9% of the overall market according to Gambling Commission figures.


The Effects of Lockdown on Football and Gambling

A shift has occurred over recent years in the way with which people gamble. Remote (or online) gambling being the largest industry sector, generating a GGY of £5.7bn and comprising almost 40% of the overall market.

Online sports betting is still the most popular choice for gamblers in the UK, especially for younger players.

Covid 19 has understandably had negative impacts on the gambling industry and football alike. Online gambling,   somewhat flourished during this time with more people accessing online gambling platforms.  In 2020, almost one in four adults (24%) had gambled online in the last four weeks, compared to around one in six (17%) five years ago.

Research is showing that the pandemic been the cause of this increase in online gambling. Changing trends, more people having smartphones and easy access to platforms that are in abundance also contribute to the increase.


Time for reflection!

The gambling industry has had a firm grip on football for decades making billions in the process.  We are starting to see some positive steps with clubs backing campaigns against gambling adverts and sponsorship investment in Gambling Clinics and more public figures coming forward and talking about their experience of football and gambling addiction.

Do you think football and the gambling industry can go further in tackling the issue of problem gambling and/or gambling addiction?

Does the gambling industry and football have a social responsibility in preventing our next generation from developing a gambling addiction?


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