The Growing Link Between Football And Casinos

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Sports-football in particular- and gambling seem to have an affinity for each other if the trends of sponsorship deals are anything to go by. According to figures from Statista, close to 50% of premier league sponsorships were signed by casinos and gambling companies for the 2016-17 season. In 2012, the sponsorship share of casinos and online gambling sites sponsored was 25%.

A long history of sponsorships

Casinos and gaming companies signing up for sponsorship of football clubs is an ongoing trend, one that has existed for more than a decade. Online gambling giant Bwin.Party sponsored T shirts for Real Madrid for a period of five years in a contract that ended in 2012. The gambling company then took on sponsorship of Manchester United. The casino leader’s deal with Real Madrid helped them garner 20% of the gambling market in Spain.

Genting Casinos which is a big name in land based casinos in the World sponsored the 2012 season for Aston Villa F.C. The casino giant owns 42 brick and mortar casinos in the United Kingdom had a two year deal with the premier football club. The arrangement gave a boost to Genting Casinos which was then looking to build a gaming and entertainment complex at the National Exhibition Center.

Gambling companies 188Bet and have also entered into sponsorship deals in the past with Wigan Athletic and other clubs. SBOBET, an online casino giant had signed a sponsorship deal in 2008 with West Ham United.

Bet365 Group, the online gaming giant with more than nineteen million users spread across the globe had a sponsorship deal with Stoke City in 2012. Among the services offered by the online casino include poker, bingo, sports live video streaming, betting, other than the traditional casino. Bet365 group generated £646 million in revenue in 2012 and wagers totaled to 12 billion in the same year.

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Liverpool is definitely not lagging in terms of sponsorship deals with casinos. The football club has had deals in the past with Paddy Power and In 2014, ComeOn!, an online betting company signed a two-year deal with Liverpool for sponsorship.

The latest trends

The 2017-18 season is starting off with a three-year sponsorship deal between Royal Panda and Queens Park Rangers. Royal Panda started off in the gambling industry in 2014 and has been one of the fastest growing online casinos. Casinos and online gambling sites sponsoring football clubs is a trend that is not new in Italy either. One of the biggest online gambling companies in Italy –Lottomatica- has signed up deals with five football teams of, Roma, Napoli, Milan, Sampdoria and Lazio.

Unibet is another online betting and gambling leader which has sponsored Denmark’s top football clubs including FC Midtjylland and FC Copenhagen. Unibet does not restrict its deals to football only and has deals with cricket country clubs including Warwickshire CCC, besides Essex CCC and Surrey CCC. Currently Unibet is sponsoring Aston Villa for the upcoming season.