Football clubs have strong links to gambling firms and online casinos

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Almost 60% of the football clubs in the top two divisions in England, feature gambling companies on their shirts for the 2018/2019 season – and experts say it’s disturbing and worrying. A total of 9 (out of 20) Premier League teams and a staggering 17 (out of 24) teams in the Championship, have strong links to gambling firms and online casinos.

I bet they wear that!

Leagues one and two has a total of 48 clubs competing to be crowned champions, but of all those teams, just 4 will carry gambling advertising.

In the 2017/2018 season, the English Football League, which is sponsored by Sky Bet, has seen the number of gambling sponsors rise by 4. Charities are increasingly concerned with this, because it is them that deals with the negative consequences of the £14billion gambling industry. There are currently 430,000 players with a gambling addition in the UK, according to the Gambling Commission’s most recent study, but it’s the younger generation that is causing alarm. Statistically, as many as 370,000 children between the ages of 11 and 16 gamble each week and a staggering 25,000 of those have a gambling problem.

Worrying comments

Jim Orford, the Gambling Watch UK’s professor commented; “This is worrying. There is evidence that gambling is becoming ever more normalised, particularly among young people, so that increasingly betting is seen as part and parcel of following and supporting one’s favourite sport or team.”

A problematic link between football and gambling has reared its head and Mr Orford also said that the BBC television broadcaster is inadvertently advertising on Match of the Day, due to the logos on the football shirts and billboards.

The BBC does not have advertising on its services, due to consumers paying a ‘tax’ on owning a television (also called the TV license).

Due to footballs popularity with the younger generation, Jim Orford suggested that the younger people could even believe that they have “special knowledge of the subject akin to the skill in poker which has always been exaggerated to good effect by gambling operators”. Not only that, but the grey area between social media gambling is also worrying, with young people being able to gamble for free.

“Many people think gambling is now out of control in Britain which has the most liberal online gambling regulations of any European country.”

The chief executive of GambleAware, Marc Etches, agreed with Mr Orford and added his comments; “I think we are at a tipping point in terms of the relationship between professional sports and gambling. We have a generation of fans who believe you have to bet on football to enjoy it and that is disturbing and concerning. It is a very different place to the past when there was only the weekly pools and spot-the-ball. he time is now for a much-needed debate about how we do this. Watching football and having a bet is becoming normalised but we’re not talking about it.”

In detail

The football teams in the Premiership who feature the ‘worrying’ shirts are;

  • Bournemouth with M88
  • Crystal Palace with ManBet X
  • Everton with SportPesa
  • Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) with W88
  • Burnley with LaBa360
  • Newcastle with Fun88
  • Fulham with Defabet
  • Huddersfield Town with OPE

West Ham United with Betway