The problemWhen you look at the match-fixing scandal that took place in Italy recently, that resulted in the arrest of great names like Stefano Mauri and Omar Milanetto, it only seems fair to question the legality of bookmakers sponsoring football teams in the Premier League.
The answer to this requisition is yes – especially when you take a closer look at the contracts (and their morality clauses) that are agreed upon by football clubs and gambling companies. For instance, one of the conditions states that both parties must avoid actions that affect their images. In other words, a sponsorship between football clubs and online gambling companies is no different than the ones that they sign with big corporations –both parties would end up losing in the long run if something untoward were to happen. Although the match-fixing scandal hit the industry a hefty blow, it is also important to remember that most players are not willing to throw away their careers for short term profit.
Another notable fact, based on information from several surveys, football aficionados trust the sponsors of their favorite teams. Furthermore, they are more willing to bet on their favorite team, if a certain casino sponsors their team. Thus, maybe the reason that there's so much suspicion surrounding the legality of a football club being sponsored by an online gambling company is because bookmakers seem to have hit the advertising bulls-eye by increasing brand awareness in a way that it reaches the right audience. And that's not all – there are several Premier League teams that have either benefited or as still benefiting from their sponsorships with bookmakers.
Interested in learning more? Keep reading for a short but comprehensive list of such teams:
After the success of bwin.com's shirt sponsorship with Real Madrid – a partnership that helped the company gain about 20% of the betting market share in Spain – the company has expanded its reach to the Premier League.
Bwin.com sponsors Real Madrid to the tune of $16 million every year but they are only offering the Red Devils $2.4 million. Still, this is more than Manchester United received from their last sponsorship with Betfair, which was estimated at about $1.5 million a year.
Popular UK casino operator, Genting Casino has become the main shirt sponsor (for two years) for the football club. This company has over 40 casinos in the UK alone and is part of Malaysia's biggest multinational corporation. Still, when you consider that their logo was on both home and away shirts during the 2012-13 season, their status will grow even more.
Although the team was off to a rough start during the 2012-13 season, they were able to recuperate a little bit by the end of the first half of the season. They had to – Emirates Airlines (their biggest sponsor) threatened to cut off their funding if no improvement was seen. In spite of this little issue, Emirates and the bookmaker sponsor, GunnersGaming by Betsson, still considers Arsenal to be a good brand.
Although 188bet was one of the main players in a major UK betting scandal back in 2009, Chelsea still continued their collaboration with the popular bookmaker until the end of the 2011-12 season. This left the team without an official casino provider but this isn't a huge issue when you consider that the football club has also been sponsored by major corporation like Coca Cola and Samsung.
Infographic source: sportingintelligence.com