Pros and cons of partnering with gambling sponsors for football clubs

Football is more than just a game as it is a multi-billion pound business. In fact, the football club has to support itself financially with the amounts they must pay such as the exposure per week, the players’ salaries, and more.

Sponsorships have been important to football clubs for decades: nowadays, gambling sponsors attract investors and generate large profits, so it’s only natural that football clubs seek to partner up with them. Below we are going to analyse the benefits and drawbacks of such sponsorships to football teams.

Why Football Clubs Partner Up With Gambling Companies

The decision whether to partner up with a gambling company, or not, is often up to the FC’s owners and/or management, but it impacts the club’s entire fan base anyway. So, even though there are undisputed advantages in partnering up with online sportsbooks, football clubs should always consider how this decision would affect their fans.

Huge Profit Source

There are multiple online bookmakers such as MyStake sportsbook that gather gamblers from all over the world, and thus generate significant profits. The largest of them, like Grossvenor or William Hill, can offer six-digit contracts to football teams willing to collaborate with them, and partnering up with these platforms is often a way for football clubs to unlock access to additional funding. For example, the world’s biggest bookmaker William Hill has become the Premier League club’s new official betting partner including Chelsea FC. As for Parimatch, this largest sports betting company has been the sponsor of the Blues for many years making the betting firm one of the club’s top partners. The international betting company 1xBet has been the official betting partner of the English Premier League leader football club for several seasons.

Brand Awareness

In general, added to the amount of money offered by the betting companies, they also offered their services to the club including event organisations and promotions offered to the supporters and fans. The club’s major matches are also broadcast on their official websites. Apart from shirt sponsorships, online bookmakers usually sponsor ads on the pitches. In return for the millions of pounds and the services invested in the club, the online sportsbooks are expected to have their brand awareness increased. In fact, the betting brands’ logos are seen on the elite-level football teams’ jerseys as well as on the training wear to improve the companies’ reputation. Since the biggest clubs have millions of fans globally, gambling operators will surely reach their target audience. They can thus strengthen their reputation and trust among punters worldwide.

Warnings Against Gambling Partnerships

Along with the benefits, there are also downsides to being partners with gambling companies. The two main disadvantages we are going to analyse here are problem gambling habits (which often accompany excessive sports betting) and potential issues with the gambling authorities.

Problem Gambling

Based on a landmark study, gambling addiction has continued as the biggest issue in the UK with more than 1.4 million people who are being harmed by their own gambling and over 1.5 million who are at risk to experience gambling addiction. Several factors push people to gamble but a significant one is the sports betting and gambling partnership that has become ubiquitous in the most successful football clubs for over a decade. And while FCs can promote responsible gambling in many ways, the mere fact that the bookmaker brand’s name logo appears on the clubs’ shirts and various sports betting ads push the supporters to bet which can lead to gambling-related harm. The football club’s fans and supporters can be minors and adults so with the encouragement of promotions, they can be influenced by these advertising strategies. Although the release of several self-exclusion tools to help people avoid gambling addiction, this issue will continue as a major concern as long as the gambling companies will be promoted.

Issues with Gambling Authorities

In 2020, a review of the 2005 Gambling Act was launched by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and banning betting sponsorship in football is a part of this review. A ban on betting logos on the clubs’ jerseys, as well as the advertising on pitchside hoardings and TV commercials, are among the reviews undertaken in the gambling laws. According to the DCMS spokesperson, the new regulations are established to tackle gambling-related problems in all forms which are serious concerns in the UK. As a matter of fact, more than 45% of the Premier League clubs have gambling brands as their front-of-shirt sponsor which can be the reason to push people to gamble in an uncontrollable way. The original date of the UK Government plan for gambling reform release was the end of 2021 but it was postponed until early 2022, and as stated by the UK Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston, the government is finalizing it.


Every football club should decide on their own whether they want to partner up with online bookies and/or sports betting platforms, or not. On the one hand, doing so can bring them large profits and spread their brand awareness. On the other hand, they would be actually promoting online gambling, which could, in turn, lead to problems with certain gambling authorities.


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