Ever noticed that many of the leading Football League clubs have betting partners? If you haven’t noticed that, you may have seen a shirt or two bearing the brand name of a casino company. Although the prevalence of gambling-based sponsorship deals is lower than it used to be, a number of clubs in the Championship and beyond still have ties to betting brands. Such is the relationship between football and the gambling industry that a 2017 study by Goldsmith’s University found that betting logos were visible for 71% of BBC’s Match of the Day highlights.
Betting Brings Benefits to Football
Further to this, a statement from the English Football League (EFL) in July 2020 said that the gambling industry contributes up to £40 million to its leagues every season. That’s a hefty sum of money that, in some cases, can keep small clubs afloat.
As such, football and gambling have enjoyed a fruitful relationship over the last two decades. The question, however, is how were these ties formed and, more importantly, why? Back in the 90s, football sponsorship deals were dominated by technology companies such as JVC and Sharp. Fast forward a few years and you’ll now see names like Betway and Casumo on the shirts of various football clubs. The main reason for these connections is accessibility. Sports betting, casino gaming and poker are more accessible today than they’ve ever been. Why? Because of the internet.
From Micro Innovations to Major Success
It all started in the late nineties when companies such as Microgaming developed the first online casino games. They found a way to combine random number generators (RNGs) with digital animations to create realistic casino games. Once payment processors were added to the mix, people were able to play fair games for real money. This sparked a revolution and created an industry that’s now worth more than £5.7 billion in the UK alone. What’s more, the digital gaming revolution made brands such as Betway household names. If you read the report taken from Bonusfinder, you can see why these sites are popular with the masses. New customers can get so-called “no deposit bonuses” just by registering their details.
By giving customers free spins and bonus cash, online casinos have made betting more accessible and appealing to casuals. Indeed, if you can play slots or blackjack via your mobile or computer and not spend any money, it’s intriguing. The average punter isn’t the grizzled gambler you may have seen in a betting shop 30 years ago. Everyone from mums to twenty-somethings now enjoy gambling online. That, in turn, has thrust the betting industry into the spotlight and helped it forge ties with football. Success breeds success. Therefore, if two thriving industries can join forces, it helps everyone involved. Football and gambling have certainly enjoyed a prosperous relationship in recent years and that’s why you’ll see betting brands the next time you visit your favourite EFL clubs.