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St. Mirren Football Club is the proud team here in Paisley and is part of a huge collective of teams that made the conscious decision to ban what was an onslaught of betting sponsorships within the game. With the new season afoot, our town’s club will adorn the name of SkyView Capital on their shirts for the seasons ahead. This is the third year running for SkyView Capital, which is an investment firm based out in L.A, California.

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St. Mirren Football Club has had a long history of supporting business and those in the transport industry when putting their shirt up like a billboard. They are one of the few teams to never display an online betting firm, in fact, they were more interested in putting the name out of Braehead Shopping Centre than the likes of online betting sites Bet365, or 32Red.

This is what our article touches on. The impact of online sports betting within the Scottish Premier League.

 

The protests begin as people in Scotland march to end gambling sponsorship

 

This was the new story back in September 2020. As walkers marched together in a call to remove gambling from the game. In a protest that was called the Big Step, it started in Ibrox and made its way to Parkhead in support of the radical campaign. The calls were made because of the health implications that surround gambling when it is not managed or controlled correctly. A clear case of this would be gambling addiction which is this year’s trend for betting companies to oblige to new rules and laws to aid better gambling awareness and support with online tools that restrict access and spending within the casino. 

The march was put together by local organisers that were highlighting the fact that many clubs had shirt sponsorships promoting gambling sites, including clubs Rangers and Celtic. Not to mention the irony of the entire Scottish Premier Football League being sponsored by Ladbrokes. With the Scottish Cup bearing the name of Betfred as the sponsor. 

Part of their campaign was to also promote independent treatment in the NHA system for gambling disorders. 

 

Inside the world of online sports betting and the large appeal it has on sports fans

You don’t have to venture to a sports ground to know how big the industry of sports betting has become. TV advertising is enough to highlight the amount of airtime it gets. Go back 15 years and perhaps the only advert on the telly was a Sun newspaper ad’ giving away free Grand National Bets.

The world changed and it did so very quickly out of people’s view, tucked away online it grew into what is now one of the largest and most profitable industries to be in. 

Football betting is the most popular sports betting choice online. For those able to remember, go back two decades and you had the pools in which you picked the games that would end in a draw. Inside the bookies you had three options, win, lose, or draw. Football was more than this and the companies knew this and the odds market quickly grew. 

You could bet on the score, the goal scorer, and outright league winners. But this wasn’t enough, soon it became about the number of corners, who got booked first, the halftime result, who would be leading after 10 minutes and every other move or action you could think of within the game. 

The allure of this betting potential grew sports betting sites, and online casinos adapted to fit sports betting platforms to help accommodate the demand. 

Sports betting is bigger than any form of gambling there is and kept an entire industry alive.  The demand as such saw traffic through sites like https://www.mybettingsite.uk/ grow exponentially year on year with more traffic recorded in the past 5 years since the integration of sports betting adverts with live tv games on channels like Sky Sports and BT Sport. The growth of the market was seemingly out of hand and needed sites like MyBettingSite to help review the market and guide players to licensed operators. 

 

A simple need for change to put the people first

In a commissioned survey by GambleAware, a charity committed to gambling addiction showed through the YouGov poll came back in May with a figure that projected that 2.7% of adults were problem gamblers. This equated to 1.4 million people with this condition. 

The report also stated that 7% of adults reported having been affected by someone else’s addiction to gambling. This is a projection of 3.6 million people. The concern is not just amongst the adult population, the numbers within children ages 11 to 16 had quadrupled by more than 50,000 in a period of two years.

The Big Step march was to coincide with the Government review of the Gambling Act. Addicts were joined by families for the 130-mile walk over a period of 5 days, during which would make stops at 7 premier and championship grounds that currently had gambling sponsorship. The success of this march is still too early to tell but comments like this from the SPFL add to the predicament the game of football is in:

SPFL spokesman: “For many of the fans, having a small bet on the game comes as is part of their enjoyment when watching the sport. Since there was the introduction of the football pools, betting has  been closely associated with the game and has also provided some much-needed income to football for a number of decades.”

“Our clubs in the SPFL and their sponsors actively promote responsible gambling, and we,  the SPFL, are happy to fully support this, as we continue to engage regularly with Gamble Aware.”