Gambling providers repeatedly use sponsoring as an additional advertising opportunity to draw attention to themselves. What is now strictly regulated in many countries is meanwhile particularly hot in the United Kingdom for heated discussions. A survey of fans of the National Football League EFL – the English football league revealed that many enthusiastic football fans can get used to the idea of sponsoring gambling in the field of football. A prerequisite for this, however, according to the survey, is that this sponsorship is then accompanied by extensive protective measures and warnings against children and adolescents.
Every year the ELF conducts a survey among its fans on various topics. This year, entitled “EFL Supporter Surveys 2019”, addressed the question of the extent to which sponsorship of clubs by providers of gambling should be permitted. It was shown that partnerships between gaming operators and football clubs are no problem for fans as long as both sides adhere to strict regulations in order not to expose children and adolescents to unnecessary dangers. That this survey can be considered quite representative shows the fact that approximately 28,000 fans from 72 clubs from the English football league took part. The EFL includes all three leagues below the Premier League. So the League Championship, League One and League Two.
According to the survey, 71% of those surveyed are quite willing to accept sponsorship from gaming providers, although 63% of all those surveyed also stated that in this case the club and sponsors should take special measures to protect young people.
In a first statement, a spokesman for the ELF made it clear that the result of the survey among the fans was seen as an order. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about protecting young players or sponsoring through gambling providers. The English football league has, in a way, received an order from the fans for ethnic leadership. According to the spokesman, this requires sustainable strategies, a number of which have already been implemented. The protection of young people is the primary strategic goal of the English football league and is absolutely compatible with topics such as sustainability, financial stability, fun in the game and access to sports.
Just as interesting as the relatively broad approval of the possible partnerships is the fact that at least nine percent of all those questioned would unconditionally agree to cooperation between clubs and the gaming industry without any reservations. On the other hand, you also have to clearly state that a quarter of all survey participants have completely spoken out against possible cooperation between the two interest groups. Another five percent were undecided on this topic.
Remarkable is the fact that almost all respondents who spoke out against gambling sponsorship in football were generally at least 65 years – and older. This shows that there is still great skepticism, especially among the older vintages, whereas the younger fans are quite open to the topic.
What do you think about gambling companies sponsoring football events?