Queens Park Rangers (QPR) is the latest football club to announce an online casino company as their shirt sponsor. This is the second consecutive betting sponsor for them. In the last year, betting exchange Smarkets used to be the main sponsor. This time they have entered into a partnership with online casino Royal Panda.
Recently, some of the most popular betting companies have entered the football industry as shirt sponsors. Some of the companies include Bet365, Dafabet, Betway, 32Red and Mansion Casino. And this list includes only those companies which sponsored Premier League clubs last season. Apart from that, if you include companies like SkyBet and BetFair which sponsored hoardings or television coverage, you will find that betting companies are everywhere in the football business. And this has been the situation for the past few years.
However, this announcement didn’t go well in the social media. There were plenty of people who were unhappy with the decision. Many people felt that QPR was getting too much involved in the betting industry.
There is not much difference between having a gambling company as the sponsor and having a company from any other industry. The only difference is that the gambling company cannot sponsor the kid’s shirts. Many people were also unhappy at this because the kid’s shirts will look different from those of the normal ones. However, for the football clubs, that is a very small sacrifice if you consider the money which they are making.
However, the bigger concern is the effect which gambling or any other addiction has on the lives of people. Having a punt is completely legal and millions of people enjoy a bit of gambling. It makes sports much more exciting to watch. I am not much of a gambler, but I am well aware of the excitement and thrill it provides to so many people around the world.
However, unfortunately, there is a dark side to gambling. Many people struggle to control themselves and often end up losing everything, thus destroying their lives and the lives of others. Even in the gambling advertisements, you will find a warning given “Please Bet Responsibly”. This warning is a clear indication that millions of people have suffered because of gambling.
The main problem is that companies which sponsor the shirts are a part of our identity, even if for just 1 or 2 seasons. Everyone watching football associates the club with their sponsor. In the last 2 seasons, Carabao which is a Thai energy drink brand has been sponsoring Fake Hoops. I don’t like their skull logo at all and will definitely not want something like that on a Rangers jersey.
Apart from gambling companies, football clubs can think of several other options which are household names like Air Asia and Ericsson.
Gambling companies are not considered. However, you can’t deny the money which these companies pump into the football clubs.
I don’t think the relationship between gambling and football is going to change in the future. In fact, more and more gambling companies may soon enter into this industry. The relationship between gambling and football is also very wierd. English football claims that they are clean and free from any sort of corruption, but they still welcome gambling. The rules are also strange. Players are not allowed to bet on games. However, we have seen managers like Jurgen Klopp appearing on advertisements. And there are also some footballers like the controversial Joey Barton who broke the gambling rules.
However, we shouldn’t really blame QPR for teaming up with a gambling company. Every club wants to be financially stable and signing such a big deal will certainly help them to achieve financial stability. Hence, turning down such a big deal on moral grounds doesn’t make much sense.
I understand that there are many people who are unhappy with the situation. Some are unhappy on religious grounds and some of them may have a family member who suffered because of gambling. They definitely have a right to express their views but we must also consider the fact that QPR’s competitors are also enjoying the benefits from gambling companies.
I am not defending the gambling industry. They have definitely affected the society as a whole. And anything which causes problems to the society should be tackled by laws, regulations, and rules. Football needs to reconsider its relationship with gambling and they have to make sure that the society doesn’t suffer.