Sport Sponsorships Are Important during Pandemic, Says BGC

The UK Betting and Gaming Council released a statement outlining that betting sponsorships are important for multiple sports during the pandemic. BGC chief executive Michael Dugher warned that unless the Government finds balance, punters may be pushed towards the black market.

Impacted by the Pandemic, Many Sports Rely on Betting Sponsorships

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in the UK released a statement on Tuesday highlighting the vital support that the betting industry provides for multiple sports. Acknowledging the financial impact of COVID-19 on a range of sports, in a submission to the House of Commons committee, the Council revealed that sports such as football, horseracing, snooker, and rugby rely on the vital support by sponsorship, media rights as well as payments from betting operators.

In its statement, the BGC outlined that horse racing and greyhound racing hold a “symbolic relationship” with betting which dates back decades. “The sectors would not exist without the sponsorship, levies and media rights payments paid by the betting sector, and so too there would be no product to bet on,” stressed the Council.

Some sports are living on a knife-edge because of the ongoing ban on spectators, so the funding provided by our members is even more important than usual.”

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher

In a statement, the BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said that the pandemic’s financial impact was felt by multiple sports. He continued by saying that he is delighted to see that the betting and gaming industry was able to help in these unprecedented times.

Furthermore, Dugher welcomed the examination by the Government of the relationship between sports and betting operators. However, he stressed that it is important that the Government “gets the balance right“. Otherwise, according to Dugher, punters may be pushed towards the unregulated black market, where there is “no interest in supporting sport either at a grassroots or national level.”

The Betting Industry Supports Football, Horse Racing and Even Darts

According to the council, horse racing receives approximately £200 million a year from betting shops, betting levies as well as media rights. Furthermore, the betting industry supports the TV companies. As a result, there are more live sports aired, which otherwise would not be possible, says the BGC.

Besides horseracing, sports like snooker and darts also benefit from sports betting and igaming sponsorships. Those sports receive some £10 million a year from sponsorships. On the other hand, the English Football League clubs receive approximately £40 million a year from the betting industry, according to the Council.

In fact, last month the EFL revealed a statement outlining its readiness to continue the dialogue with the Government regarding the betting sponsorship. According to its statement, the EFL’s goal is to “ensure its partnerships are activated in a responsible fashion“.

An example that the BGC presented is the GVC’s “Pitching In” project. Under the project, many clubs who have faced the unprecedented financial impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic received much-needed support from GVC. With that in mind, despite the strong support, none of the betting or gaming brands by GVC will be promoted at any of the grounds in the leagues involved.

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