Should Gambling Still Have a Place in Football?

Should Gambling Still Have a Place in Football?

Gambling and football have never been far away from each other. From the Saturday afternoons in the bookies before kick off, to the games of cards on the coach during away trips. They’ve formed a strong bond that has become almost inseparable in recent years.

There will always be arguments about gambling’s role in football, but those arguments do not often take into account the bigger picture. Where financially the game is in comparison to other sports around the world. How Premier League football has managed to survive a global pandemic and in fact donate money, while other sports look to simply stay afloat.

While that isn’t all down to the money pumped into football by gambling companies, it certainly shouldn’t be ignored, especially when other sports such as the NFL, NBA and NHL are now seeking gambling sponsors and forming partnerships. In fact, just a week ago during an interval on Test Match Special, the country’s top cricket pundits were discussing the potential importance of tapping into the money gambling companies have on offer.

The State of Play

Today gambling companies have a prominent place in football. They heavily sponsor clubs in the Premier League and Championship, and undoubtedly pay more than a local paint company or insurance firm would. Around 43% of England’s top two leagues now have gambling sponsorship on their shirt, while an even higher percentage will have official partnerships with clubs.

As you can see over the past five years in particular, there’s been a sharp rise in gambling companies in the top two tiers of the English game, and it’s now an industry worth billions, with clubs such as Wolves, Derby and Leeds United all having relations with gambling firms.

Full List Of Clubs With Gambling Shirt Sponsors:

Premier League: 

  • Burnley
  • Crystal Palace
  • Fulham
  • Leeds United
  • Newcastle United
  • West Ham United
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers

Championship: 

  • Birmingham City
  • Bristol City
  • Coventry City
  • Derby County
  • Middlesbrough
  • Norwich City
  • Nottingham Forest
  • Preston North End
  • Queens Park Rangers
  • Reading
  • Stoke City
  • Watford

The Future of Gambling in Football

There will of course always be debate in football as to whether gambling companies should be so closely intertwined with football clubs, but it has proved in recent years that it is a steady money stream and a successful relationship.

While there has been a slight drop in the number of gambling sponsors this season in the top two divisions, it is still significant and more than likely to grow once again in the future. What’s more, we’re seeing companies look further down the ladder, sponsoring the likes of the Northern Premier League and Isthmian League.

It’s expected more avenues will be explored by gambling companies as football continues to expand, with the women’s football market one of the more interesting prospects for firms, particularly those outside of sportsbook such as online bingo sites like Moon Bingo.

It’s a bite of the cherry many brands want, and popular bingo sites such as Moon Bingo, who have a large female fan base, may be tempted into sponsoring big Women’s Super League teams as the game grows.

Attendances continue to increase in the women’s game, and in turn that’s welcoming more live games on television, ideal for sponsors to start taking note of. Alongside this, the world of online bingo is also welcoming a boom, and it could prove to be a match made in heaven over the coming months and years.

Of course, innovation will also play its part. Broadcasters are also closer to betting than ever before, and advertising post watershed is extremely popular for brands. Live streaming via betting apps is now possible, and that’s only going to expand, meaning more money to come English football’s way, and the potential for creating an even more enticing product that is loved globally.