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Gambling advertising in the London sporting world

Gambling and sport have become more and more intertwined in the past two decades.

In football, the EFL is sponsored by a gambling company – while several teams in the Premier League have gambling sponsors on the front of their shirts, or otherwise located on the sleeve.

This relationship has benefitted both industries but how does this look through a London lens?

As the country’s largest city, generating over a fifth of the country’s GDP, a large percentage of advertising is spent in this area of the country.

Let’s see how this manifests itself in professional sports in London. 


As previously mentioned, several clubs in London are sponsored by gambling companies including West Ham, Brentford and Fulham.

Nowadays it’s normalised, however this wasn’t always the case. It took until 2002 for a top flight club to spot an opportunity for partnership.

Fulham partnered with Betfair, a company that offers users the chance to gamble in online casinos, take advantage of Betfair casino promotions, as well as to bet on sports such as football, rugby and tennis.

This first collaboration paved the way for other clubs to partner with betting companies. In 2016, sponsorships peaked with 50% of Premier League clubs associated with betting firms.

Betfair itself has acted upon the success of their sponsorship.

In England, it became the betting partner for Manchester United in 2009 and it has now expanded its reach to South America.

It sponsors two of the giants of Brazilian football, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro. 


Unlike in football, betting sponsorship isn’t as widespread in Rugby Union.

In London, there are three rugby clubs in the top division: London Irish, Sarcens and Harlequins. London Irish had a brief alliance with betting company BETDAQ, a global betting exchange in 2011.

Promoted around the stadium, the firm hoped to grow based on the Rugby World Cup later that year. 

In 2017, Sarcens partnered with Betsafe, who agreed to have their logo on the back of the team’s shirts.

Signing a three year contract, the company offered rugby fans betting content and further content to help engage fans.

While in 2019, the Premiership signed its own deal with a betting company, partnering with


Even fewer betting partnerships have been signed with cricket teams in London.

Betfair used to sponsor the English Cricket Board but no longer do and in 2005, they partnered with Channel 4 to sponsor what turned out to be one of the most famous Ashes tours of years gone.

Nowadays, international teams travelling to play cricket in the capital can wear uniforms emblazoned with gambling sponsors which will see Australia and South Africa compete with their respective sponsors on their uniform.

Sports continue to be an effective way for gambling companies to reach potential clients.

It’s estimated to be worth over £130 million to the football pyramid in England while the online industry continues to grow.

According to the website Telemediaonline, it’s already worth over $12.5 billion.

With growth like this, expect to see more parternerships with the sporting world in the coming years.

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