Gambling and Sports, a Symbiosis

Gambling and sports go hand in hand in more ways than you might think. 

On the one hand, sports often serve as an inspiration for a variety of games at a variety of gaming outlets. The Spin online casino has a handful of them, with at least a few inspired by football. Not individual teams or clubs but the sport in general often released with major football events (like Football Star launched in the wake of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, for example).
But slot machines are not always generic. Did you hear about the LFC Stars slot machine, for example? It was a classic fruity launched about four years ago by a developer called Realistic Games and former LFC training shirt sponsor BetVictor. The independent bookie was on the LFC shirts for two seasons, and between them, listed the game as an exclusive on its website. The deal between the two parties expired, and the game was taken offline. Still, it showed just how complex the relationship between gambling outlets and football clubs can be.

On the other hand, betting companies and sports thrive in a form of symbiosis. The bets placed on sports make up the bulk of the betting companies’ revenues each year. How much, you might ask? Well, last year’s “dry spell” has seen the usage of online bookmaker services drop to a historic low - due, no doubt, to the lack of sports to be covered - and their revenues did the same. Although sports stopped for only a couple of months, most bookmakers’ revenues dipped by almost a third last year, turning it into their worst year on record.

Betting companies routinely sponsor sports teams, a lot like the above-mentioned independent bookmaker did with Liverpool FC. There are currently several Premier League teams in sponsorship deals with betting companies, like Arsenal and LT, Burnley and LoveBet or West Brom and 12Bet. These sponsorship deals go beyond shirts - betting brands routinely show up on the banners surrounding the stadiums or in the on-screen graphics during matches, both at the stadium or in TV broadcasts. And they go beyond football as well: last year, Asian betting company 188Bet became the first bookmaker to sponsor Formula 1 events, and American bookmaker and fantasy sports operator FanDuel became the first gambling company to officially sponsor the NBA. 

Betting and sports both thrive as a result of this symbiosis. Sports clubs and leagues have a chance to expand their revenue stream - this is especially important in a hard year like 2020 - and betting companies reach an interested and willing audience.

Written by Alan Spencer


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