Football Gambling Surges to New Highs in the UK

Published June 7, 2017 by Florin P

Football Gambling Surges to New Highs in the UK

UK punters bet on football more than on any other sports, prompting the FA to reconsider its willingness to promote bookmakers.

Horse and greyhound races are popular betting events in the United Kingdom, but no other sport comes even close to football. More people bet on football than on any other sport and this trend is only picking up speed in the UK and worldwide. Recent industry numbers indicate the fact that gambling on football has crossed the psychological threshold of £1.4bn in one year. More than a quarter of this represents the profits made by bookmakers from football bets alone, between October 2015 and September 2016.

The Premier League is currently the wealthiest football championship in the world, setting new records for acquisitions and salaries. The FA has signed multiple lucrative deals with betting companies, which in turn further increase the financial might of the domestic championship. The downside is that this relationship with gambling firms is apparently driving more people to football betting. In the wake of mounting criticism, the Football Association is revising its policies and contemplates change.

Gambling Scandals Hurt English Football

Barton, a 34 years old player from Burnley was suspended from football for 18 months for betting on his team. In the wake of breaching the betting regulations, he was also released by the club, but his story is not singular. Over the last couple of years, players and managers alike were banned from football, yet these sanctions don’t seem to drive down the appetite for sports betting.

Some consider that the FA is directly responsible for promoting gambling, given the numerous deals it signed with bookmakers. The number of TV and radio advertisements is also on the rise, so football fans are bombarded with betting news and promotions 24/7. Half of the Premier League clubs are sponsored by gambling companies and addiction is a real problem among those who routinely bet on sports.

Football players from lower divisions are particularly vulnerable to this threat and some end up spending all their salaries on bets. Not only are these actions in stark contradictions with the FA rules, but they also affect the well-being of otherwise promising footballers. The problems go beyond football players, since a large number of fans and spectators bet on matches every week.

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