With the European football season a few weeks away from kicking off, fans around the world have been somewhat in a flurry. However, as we draw closer to the starting date, a recent discovery was made. A total of 60% of the clubs in the top two football leagues in England (the English Premier League (EPL), arguably being the biggest league in the world) will be sponsored by gambling organisations in the upcoming season.
It should not be all that surprising that England’s football league is dominated by online gambling-related sponsorships. Other major European football nations are known to have very strict laws on online gambling. Thus, sponsorships involving betting establishments are often kept at a minimum.
Worry Over Gambling Sponsorship Incline
Understandably, not everyone is all too happy about the increased presence of online gambling agencies in England’s Premier and Championship football leagues. One such person to speak out against the rise in such sponsorships was University of Birmingham psychology Professor Jim Orford. Orford stated that the increased number of betting agency sponsorships was helping normalise the idea of gambling and that many people now associated it with following their favourite sports team.
The number of gambling sponsorships present within the league has increased ever since the Gambling Act 2005 legalised the action. The EPL was asked to comment on this phenomenon to which spokespersons responded that it was up to the clubs to determine which sites they agreed to make deals with.
It has previously been suggested that gambling-related sponsorship deals have grown to become a rather large stream of funds for clubs in the EPL. Estimates suggest that clubs made over AU$500.24 million from such deals.
With football clubs gaining great revenue from these contracts and online gambling companies earning extreme amounts of exposure, one can only assume that these deals will not end any time soon.
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