Gambling affects many sectors of society. Gambling sponsorship directly affects athletes and their families, while also impacting the structure of professional and collegiate sports.
Sponsorship creates unhealthy power relations between athletes, their teammates, and the sporting institutions where they play. It also creates unequal paradigms that increase the level of inequality within local communities.
The world sports most affected by problem gambling are football and horse racing. Football sponsorships, especially in the Premier League and among championship teams, are obvious targets of gambling companies.
The biggest Premier League sponsorship deals target top teams like Arsenal, Liverpool, Barcelona F.C., West Ham, and many others.
Championship team sponsors include many online casinos such as Betway, Fun88, and Dafabet. If you are playing at a Casino in Canada, you can find posts by our gambling expert Daniel Bennet and explore many of the top casinos that sponsor athletes and associations.
Well-known athletes, teams, and associations are commonly sponsored by large companies like Monster (energy drinks), McDonald’s, Qatar Airways, IBM, and many other multinational companies.
When a company begins to sponsor several teams, the awareness of that company begins to expand considerably in the fan base of those teams and organizations. Increasing brand awareness is one of the top motivations that companies have when finding teams to sponsor.
The rate of bet sponsorships in 2019-2020 increased dramatically and is unprecedented in sports history. Although sponsorship is an age-old practice in sports and other institutions, the kind of sponsorship that gambling companies practice is sometimes criticized by sports enthusiasts, observers, and students, due to its explicitly monetary nature and its relationships with risk.
Some find gambling/casino sponsorship controversial, while others see it as a natural feature of highly-organized sporting events that athletes and organizations have to deal with on a regular basis.
The common consensus among researchers and scholarly journals is that problem gambling can be linked to a variety of health problems, including addiction, anxiety disorders, cirrhosis, heart disease, and others (Humphreys, Nyman, Ruseski 2011).
The concerns that researchers and health professionals voice do not always reach the public because of the complicated relationship that problem gambling has with these conditions.
These conditions themselves are complex. Therefore, when their complexity is compounded by problem-gambling, it becomes very difficult to explain the exact mechanisms that negatively impact gamblers and those around them.
From the point of view of gambling companies, legal gambling should remain available to those who seek it. Gambling companies do highlight the resources available to customers who want to limit their number of gaming hours.
They point out that there are organizations that provide support to gamblers that have noticed themselves playing too often, or at higher levels of risk than they’d like.
Online casinos even make self-limiting features available within the online casino account section and allow players to tailor their playing experience.
The problem, of course, is that a player who is already at the stage in their gaming life where they think they need help generally requires more help than is available through online chats or forums.
That’s where mental health programs and professionals come in. However, gambling websites do not typically provide this kind of information for players to find professional help when they most need it.
One of the difficulties in analyzing gambling sponsorships and their overall effects is cross-cultural differences. Different cultural views of gambling make it difficult to interpret data regarding the causes of gambling-related problems.
Another difficulty is the granularity with which researchers can analyze sponsorship. It’s difficult to find honest information in many instances as casinos have years of experience with lawsuits and dealing with frazzled customers.
This difficulty wouldn’t necessarily affect the analysis of publicly known trades, but the clandestine nature of casinos and the gambling industry, in general, complicates open-source research.
As with all types of research, there are limitations that must be addressed and dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
The adverse effects of sponsorship have been well researched. They are clearly documented in many articles, despite a lack of consensus as to what the major antecedents of gambling-related problems are.
Gambling sponsorship is an increasingly common occurrence in sports leagues around the world. The relationships between the players, companies, associations and other parties involved in the gambling industry are complex and continually evolving.
As more research comes to light, these complex relationships between significant parties involved will be held accountable for the cause and effect relationship between gambling sponsorship and gambling-related problems.