According to the latest announcements, many gambling firms won’t appear in the next season as Premier League sponsors. This is the lowest number of betting sponsorships in the League since 2016. And probably, this number will continue to drop in the future. Let’s take a closer look together at the actual sponsors, the overall statistics, the reasons behind the drop in numbers, and of course, at the possible outcomes.
If you follow the latest gambling news, you can read a lot about the challenges that the gambling industry has to face at this very moment. Not just the significant revenue drop as the consequence of event cancellations and disappeared global tourism. But also the strict regulations from the authorities. Most European countries try to take over control of their betting industry, to protect minors and problem gamblers. However, at the end of the day only licensed responsible operators pay the price. The drop in gambling firms among Premier League sponsors is a similar story.
Since years this is the first time when the number of betting firms drops among Premier League sponsors
Since 2016 the number of gambling companies as Premier League sponsors have been rising. The first year when a drop in numbers will happen is the next 20/21 season. We must admit, the proportion of gambling firms is still significant. In the 19/20 season, half of the Premier League sponsors were betting related companies. That meant that 27 top-tier UK teams wore the logo of different operators or providers. This season this number will drop to 19. However, it’s still not clear that the tendency will continue in the upcoming years. Will the political pressure cause a turn in the mentality of Club owners, or the 40 million pounds of contribution from the gambling firms will keep them between the Premier League sponsor? Only time can decide.
Why are gambling-related companies losing their license to sponsor sports teams?
There are many studies about how gambling advertisements wash the whole culture’s brains. Basically these trials have shown that gambling sponsorship in sports, with the firms’ logos on the players’ jerseys, makes people feel that sports betting is part of the traditions connected to competitive sports. However, in my opinion, they are wrong. Since betting and sports events are hand in hand since the beginning of times. Do you think Roman emperors didn’t make bets on the gladiators? But that’s a different story…
So, the UK authorities want to spirit away every form of gambling advertisements. Next to many other things, APPG’s 2020 Gambling Regulations included this new modification as well. Of course, they also included the contracted Premier League sponsors, who are on the footballers’ shirts. Fortunately for the betting companies, these restrictions didn’t come alive, but they are still on the table.
Even more, in July the relevant section of the House of Lords advised to completely restrict gambling sponsorship in football like Spain banned betting logos from jerseys. They said, to protect minors and stop the “gambling industry’s brainwash” they must phase out these shirts by 2023. However, the English Football League is completely against the restriction. They said: “It is our belief that sports organisations can work with Government and the gambling industry to ensure partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion.”
Still, they are not the decision-makers in the question, and the authorities’ desire to take total control over the gambling industry will cause further changes sooner than later.
Which gambling firms will be Premier League sponsors in the 20/21 season
In the table below, you can see which club can enjoy the gambling industry’s generous contributions in the next season. To be frank, there are still a lot of gambling firms stay among the Premier League sponsors, so there is no reason for panic yet.
- 32Red – Derby Country, Middlesbrough, Preston North End
- bet365 – Stoke City
- Betway – West Ham United
- BoyleSports – Birmingham City, Coventry City
- Casumo – Reading F. C.
- Dafabet – Fulham, Norwich City
- Football Index – Nottingham Forst, Queens Park Rangers
- Fun88 – Newcastle United
- LoveBet – Burnley F.C.
- ManBetX – WolverhamptonWanderers
- MansionBet – Bristol City
- SBOTop – Leeds United
- Sportsbet.io – Warford
- W88 – Crystal Palace
Conclusion and Opinion
In summary, even if regulating forces try to deny, betting is part of the sports culture. The protection of minors from inappropriate or pushy advertisements is a necessary measurement. Thus, I totally agree with it. However, if you remove betting firms from the Premier League sponsors, you just give the concurrent un-licensed offshore companies more viability. If the well-known, trustworthy firms like the Betway Sportsbook and the others cannot appear in main-stream forums and will be over-regulated, they cannot compete with the illegal concurrence. So, if we take a look at the bigger picture, we can only hope that EFL can keep betting firms as their partners. And their generous contribution, to keep football great in these difficult times.