After gaining a lot of traction in the past years, which has led to a decent increase in the sponsorships for clubs, teams, players, the global sports betting industry reached a market size of 203 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and is predicted to continue to grow in the years ahead.
The Betting Industry Continues To Grow Globally; Trends
One of the major factors that is propelling the market expansion opportunities globally is the rising government initiatives for the legalization of sports betting with an aim for the generation of revenue.In addition, at a tech level, the adoption of blockchain and the increased use of mobile use can help the industry grow, as well as live and micro betting have been doing. Finally, Esports, which has reached an enormous popularity attracting live millions of fans who watch tournaments on YouTube and Twitch.tv, among other platforms, is giving and will give another boost to the industry.
Incumbents And Startups at Work
Given these developments, startups in the field are starting to advance technologies and tools capable of improving the player experience in a new previously unthinkable way. And investors are strongly backing them. In the US, ZenSports, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based mobile sports betting app that offers both a traditional book plus peer-to-peer sports betting platform using fiat or cryptocurrencies, has just closed a $2.4m Series A funding round. In addition, PropSwap, a Las Vegas based secondary marketplace to buy and sell sports bets, just raised $2m. In Canada, Rivarly, a Toronto-based internationally-regulated sports betting and media property, just closed a US$20m funding round. Industry Incumbents are also involved in increasing their offerings via acquisitions. E.g., gambling giant Bally’s recently acquired SportCaller in Ireland and Bet.Works.
The UK Countertrend Case
The Premier League is currently the strongest European football championship and arguably the richest across the continent. English teams enjoyed a lot of attention from online iGaming operators, who use them as conduits to promote their brand.
In exchange, they benefit from meaningful exposure and catch the eye of people who are not necessarily interested in the game. This symbiosis has proved largely beneficial for iGaming firms and football clubs, but things could take a turn for the worse.
Carpet ban on betting firm logos
The debate about banning betting firm logos from sports shirts isn’t exactly new, but in recent months, it has gained a lot of traction. The idea is supported by members of the parliament, as well as gambling support groups who want to protect vulnerable players. The Government is already engaged with the audience in a discussion about gambling laws, which will come to an end on March 31. This is a comprehensive debate that looks at both the pros and cons and a decision will be made in April.
Not only football clubs, but snooker, darts, boxing and rugby league teams could be affected if the authorities decide to follow through with this plan. Government officials want to hear as many opinions as possible, to determine if such an action would end up benefiting vulnerable groups. While no decision has been made and things could definitely change, there are strong reasons to believe that even a carpet ban on betting firm logos could be enforced in 2021.
A financial blow for sports teams in the UK
The prospect of betting firm logos being banned all together is a big concern for sports teams in general and football clubs in particular. They expect to lose a lot of money as a result of such an action, given the important amounts invested by gambling companies. A similar action occurred two decades ago, when tobacco advertisements were banned all together, the team to significant losses for sports clubs. Casinos and bookmakers are also expected to lose money if they can no longer advertise their brands this way.
Surveys conducted by the Bingo Sites portal indicate the fact that the public isn’t against the idea of banning gambling logos. Half of the respondents agree with the decision, while the rest are either undecided or oppose such a measure. There is even support for a carpet ban on advertising, promotion and sponsorship for gambling firms, so not even such a radical measure is to be excluded.
Not the worst-case scenario for gambling firms
Concerning as this news might be, they don’t represent the worst-case scenario for bookmakers and online casinos. Things can take a turn for the worse if the government takes things to the next level and decides to enact a blanket ban on sports sponsorship. For the time being, affordability checks are conducted, and the impact of such measures is being evaluated. The fact that the authorities even contemplate such a decision is concerning for gambling firms.