Football matches are cherished worldwide for their energy and camaraderie. However, the sport’s televised spectacles have recently become a billboard for betting firms.
As reported by the Guardian, a recent study reveals a shocking frequency of betting logos in Premier League matches, raising critical questions about football’s ties to the betting industry.
Flood of Betting Logos: A Cause for Concern
An analysis by psychology experts from four universities discloses that betting company logos appear as often as 3,500 times during a televised football match.
These advertisements are most frequently seen on digital pitchside hoardings, accounting for over half of the logos displayed throughout a game. Contrarily, team shirts only account for a mere 6.9% of visible gambling logos.
The match between West Ham and Chelsea served as a glaring example, showcasing betting logos a staggering 3,522 times or 37 times per minute. A key factor was West Ham’s deal with online bookmaker Betway, whose logo prominently adorned the club’s home stadium.
Despite a front-of-shirt betting sponsors ban agreed by Premier League clubs earlier this year, the study implies that this step may not be enough to protect fans and players from the inundation of betting advertisements.
Calls for Action Against Oversaturation
Critics, like the Big Step campaign, are calling for an end to all gambling advertising in football. They argue that every appearance of a betting logo potentially lures fans and players towards addiction.
“This disgusting level of gambling advertising around football stadiums is a national shame and shows why removing the ads from shirts is nowhere near enough,” a spokesperson for the group said.
Despite these concerns, representatives from the betting industry consistently refute claims linking football advertising to addiction. Yet, multiple studies have suggested a connection between sponsorship and “problem” gambling, increasing the pressure on authorities to address the issue.
Implications for the iGaming Industry
The report’s findings harbor several implications for the iGaming industry:
- Increased Scrutiny: The industry might face more stringent regulations as concerns about the links between football and gambling escalate.
- Public Perception: The excessive display of betting logos could negatively impact the public image of betting companies, damaging their reputation and customer relations.
- Addiction Concerns: The pervasive advertising could lead to increased problem gambling, putting further strain on the industry to implement responsible gaming measures.
As the debate around betting advertising in football intensifies, the iGaming industry must carefully consider its relationship with the sport. With the study shining a spotlight on the advertising oversaturation, it is evident that a balanced and responsible approach is required to ensure the integrity of football and the safety of its fans.