How Casinos Are Becoming Big Names in Sport Sponsorships
Casinos make up a considerable percentage of sports sponsorship. These deals are most notable in football and boxing - but are also present in cricket and other sports.
It was the 2019 Ashes which was the first sporting event to ban gambling adverts during the live-action. This was a blanket rule that all televised sporting matches had to comply within the UK, but since its introduction, it has not made gambling any less prevalent within elite sports. Cricket, football, martial arts and many other sports are seeing an increase in casino sponsorship. Why is this, and is there a problem with casino sponsorship in sport?
Casino Sponsorship in Sport Is Increasing
Casino sponsorship in sport has rapidly increased over the last decade. Although signs suggest that football and boxing are the sports with the most casino sponsorships, it has also been noticeable in cricket, especially Australia, the UK and India. In the latest Premier League season, more than half of teams have a gambling/casino sponsor. The percentage of clubs with a casino sponsor increases further in England's second tier, The Championship.
Why Are Casinos Sponsoring Sports Teams?
PartyCasino has hit the nail on the head when discussing the relationship between sport sponsorship and casinos. They suggest that sport remains the easiest cross-sell for a casino to make. This is because sports betting is one of the biggest niches in the UK’s gambling industry and many sports fans already like to gamble on cricket, weekend football and boxing matches in Vegas. Therefore, by targeting major sporting events, these casinos are more likely to get lucrative returns from sports fans who crossover into playing poker, roulette, blackjack and other casino games.
But the relationship isn't one way. Sports teams also need casino sponsorship because they can provide some of the biggest deals. With sports teams now run like businesses and transfer fees on an exponential increase, these teams also need the money generated from a casino sponsorship – which they may not get from other industries and businesses.
Criticism of Casino sponsorships
The increase in casino sponsorship has not gone unnoticed. The UK government and individual MPs have debated the trend and suggested ways of mitigating it – or even abolishing gambling sponsorship in sport.
The reason for such measures would be to protect vulnerable groups, such as those recovering from betting addictions and underage gamblers. Both groups may want to watch the latest test match or go to a football game but maybe putting themselves at risk by being exposed to so many casino brands.
The UK Gambling Commission already has measures in place to protect minors from gambling advertisements. However, nothing currently stops gambling sponsorship from making its way into the view of vulnerable groups. Although sports jerseys for children do get sold without the casino name branded on the garment.
Do Other Industries Heavily Sponsor Sports?
Casinos may be the most significant sports sponsorship right now, but they are not the only ones. Naturally, many sports companies also want to get a piece of the action, and they are usually joined by big-name airlines. If casinos were to be banned from sponsoring cricket and football, these other industries and more could take their place, although the revenue from other sponsorships may not be as significant.
©Cricket World 2020